The Golden Alexander-Theo Angelopoulos for Best Feature Film at the 61st Thessaloniki Film Festival was awarded to “Identifying Features,” a drama about a mother’s harrowing journey through Mexico to find her teenage son who went missing while trying to reach the United States.
“In a cruel world of heartbreaks, tragedy and survival, a story of an unexpected bond is born,” the international jury said in its decision. “The film stands as a reminder of the limitless space artistic expression can take.”
The award is a cash prize of €15,000.
Titled “Sin Senas Particulares” in Spanish, the movie directed by Fernanda Valadez earlier this year won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Award at Sundance.
Greek director Georgis Grigorakis took home the Silver Alexander Special Jury Award (€8,000) for his feature debut “Digger”. The jury praised the film’s “cinematic force” in telling a story that is “so local and yet so universal.” It also won the Thessaloniki–Audience Fischer Award.
The festival kicked off online last week due to the pandemic. The festival’s organisers said they wanted to bring life to the theatre without viewers, to show their love and devotion for the cinema industry, which has been dealt a blow by the pandemic’s restrictive measures.
“Identifying Features” (Sin Senas Particulares)
According to Variety, Identifying Features is” impressive in many ways, from its strong naturalistic performances to the vivid sense of dislocation and vulnerability felt by the principal characters in dangerous or unfamiliar surroundings… This is a confident, accomplished and distinctive feature directorial debut, even if one can’t help being exasperated that so little is learned about the relevant issues by watching it.”