Bibliotheque Pascal

The 3rd Annual Milwaukee Film Festival came to a close on Sunday, October 2nd, and handed out its awards to the top films. The Danish film Nothing’s All Bad took the top prize for fiction films and the documentary Somewhere Between by Linda Goldstein Knowlton took the top prize for documentary films.

And the winners are:

The Cream City Cinema award for local filmmaking was given to the short film “Don’t Go,” by Michael Hawkins-Burgos. Disco music propels this nonstop adventure, as a black cat chases a pink-bellied, one-eyed animated bunny around an apartment.

The jury prize for documentary was awarded to “Somewhere Between,” by Linda Goldstein Knowlton. Welcomed into American families during the era of China’s one-child policy, four Asian girls grow up with “Sesame Street,” hip-hop and Twitto er at their fingertips. As transracial adoptees, they’ve integrated their parents’ ethnicities into their identities, but connecting with their own can be a struggle, especially amid the shock and drama of adolescence. Sharing a common need to make sense of their roots, the teens track down their birth parents, reach out to the orphanages where they once lived and move audiences to tears as they tackle tough questions about race, gender and self-acceptance.

The jury prize for fiction was awarded to “Nothing’s All Bad,” by Mikkel Munch-Fals. Sex—or lack thereof—can make people do funny things. For the characters in this stylish Danish drama, desire and loneliness breed quirky adventures and unexpected outcomes. Longing for connection in her increasingly isolated world, a retiree has a one-night stand, then wrestles with the aftermath. A beautiful cancer patient copes with losing a breast, wondering how she’ll ever feel normal again. Young and gorgeous but low on cash, Jonas discovers how sex equals currency as his dad explores its power to shock and awe. A visually striking debut from Mikkel Munch-Fals, this film shines by weaving together these four stories with strong threads of humor and pathos.

The prize for cinematography was awarded to “Bibliotheque Pascal,” byAndras Nagy. Pinnochio doesn’t contain S&M scenes, except at Bibliothèque Pascal, a brothel where wealthy clients act out brutal fantasies with literature’s most famous characters. Mona, a beautiful Hungarian puppeteer, gets swept into the maelstrom of sex and violence, leaving her little girl in safekeeping at a relative’s house. Before long, the child-welfare agency seizes the child, demanding answers. Mona shares her story, which grows more colorful by the minute as magical fantasies collide with harsh realities. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Szabolcs Hajdu (White Palms), this bold and dazzling vision reminiscent of Terry Gilliam has emerged as a film festival favorite around the world.

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