At the Brussels International Film Festival, films compete in three main categories – International Competition, European Competition and National Competition. “Oleg”, which is a co-production of Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, and France, won the National Competition and received the "Grand Prix". Presenting the prize to Juris Kursietis, the jury highlighted the filmmakers' ability to create a vivid claustrophobic portrait of modern Europe.
At the Valletta Film Festival, on the other hand, “Oleg” shared the award for the “Best Fiction Film” with an Albanian director Robert Budina's “Shelter Among the Clouds” in the Small Nations category. Presenting the prize to Kursietis' film, the jury described the film as an “insightful journey into the underworld of a European reality with a uniquely visceral and honest approach, fuelled by outstanding performances and a whirlwind narrative”.
eng.lsm.lv had previously reported on Kursietis' film premiering in the “Director's Fortnight” program at Cannes. The harsh, true to life story of a non-citizen looking for a better life in Belgium inspired a genuine interest in the festival audiences. Theatre-goers stood in long lines to buy tickets and filled the whole theatre – 900 viewers, who received the film with standing ovations.
The Latvian representative on the film's creative team is a group of producers “Tasse Film” which, since its inauguration in 2011, has produced many internationally acclaimed and award-winning films such as “I Am Here” and “Paradise 89”.
The Latvian premier of the film will take place on October 4.