?> ?> Katja Küttner awarded Best Actress Prize - Princess the Movie 2010

Press release 08.12.2010: 14th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival PÖFF gives Princess key award in its main competition series on Friday.

Katja Küttner (née Kukkola) has received the jury's best actress award for her leading role in Arto Halonen's Princess at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival PÖFF's EurAsia main competition series. Küttner received her prize on Friday, the 3rd of December, at the festival's award gala, where the jury stated: ”It was easy to choose the best actress, as she made such a surreal character believable, convincing us that we were in presence of royalty.” The competition at the festival was intense: for instance, Abbas Kiarostami's Copie Conforme, for which Juliette Binoche received the best female actress award at Cannes, left PÖFF without any prizes.

The EurAsia series is the main competition series at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, and this year consisted mainly of award-winners and films that received their premieres in competition at various renowned film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Sundance. The 21 films featured in the competition also included Oscar-nominees and well-known directors' works, such as Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, Abbas Kiarostami's Copie Conforme, Mohamed Al-Daradji's Son of Babylon, Susanne Bier's In a Better World and Estonia's own competition entry, Veiko Õunpuu's The Temptation of St. Tony. The series focuses on European and Asian cinema, and is featured in the festival programme for the 7th time. The festival, with its numerous sideline events, is held 19.11.-5.12.2010, and is the biggest film event in the Baltic region. The International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) places the festival on its list of significant international film competitions.

Awards given at the EurAsia competition series were:

GRAND PRIX:
MY JOY / SCHASTYE MOE (Director Sergei Loznitsa, Germany/Ukraine/Netherlands)

THE BEST DIRECTOR:
CHRIS KRAUS (The Poll Diaries / Poll, Germany/Austria/Estonia)

THE BEST ACTOR:
MIKAEL PERSBRANDT (In a Better World / Hævnen, Denmark/Sweden)

THE BEST ACTRESS:
KATJA KÜTTNER (Princess / Prinsessa, Finland)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER:
MIKHAIL KRICHMAN (Silent Souls / Ovsjanki, Russia)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE:
SON OF BABYLON (Director Mohamed Al-Daradji, Iraq/United Kingdom/France/Netherlands/Palestinian Territory/United Arab Emirates/Egypt)

SPECIAL MENTION:
STORY OF BIBINUR / BIBINUR (Director Yuri Feting, Russia (Tatarstan))

This year's Jury consisted of the American producer David Willis (Die Hard - With a Vengeance), Egyptian film star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Abol Naga, Iranian actress Fatemeh Simin Motamed-Arya, programme director for Abu Dhabin and Rotterdam film festivals Intishal al Timimi, producer of the Estonian production company Allfilm Piret Tibbo-Hudgins and Hungarian filmmaker and academic Csaba Káel.

Princess, already a huge success in Finland with over 273 000 viewers, received its world premiere in August 2010 at Montréal's World Film Festival, an A-list competitive festival, in its competition series for feature length debut films. The Princess' story is also featured in a book, written by Ilkka Raitasuo and Terhi Siltala and published in August by Like Publishing Ltd. Since its release, the book has quickly become one of the best-selling non-fiction books in Finland. Partly due to the success of Princess, Arto Halonen has been awarded The Finnish National Mental Health Prize, the City of Helsinki Culture Prize for 2010, and the Civil Action Prize of the Finnish Federation for Social Welfare and Health (which has never before been awarded to a cultural representative as opposed to a political or social figure).

Princess is based on real-life events and a real person. Cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen, drifting from one foster home to another, ends up in psychiatric care. She claims to be "Princess", a member of the English royal family from Buckingham Palace. Although Princess herself numbers among the patients, helping others becomes her life mission. Her court is comprised of her lady-in-waiting Christina von Heyroth, and a group of fellow patients. Her jurisdiction extends all the way to Kellokoski village and the manager of the local bank. From the psychiatric hospital, this broken woman finds her true home and builds a family. The film's roles feature the cream of Finland’s leading actors, including Katja KukkolaKrista KosonenSamuli EdelmannPirkka-Pekka Petelius and Peter Franzén.

PÖFF festival website: www.poff.ee

FIAPF's (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) list of festivals:
http://www.fiapf.org/intfilmfestivals_sites02.asp

Press material: www.filmikamari.fi
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Further information: 

Vilhelmiina Vilhunen, Art Films production AFP Ltd
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