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This year, Kinoatelje will give the Darko Bratina Award for the twenty-fourth time in a row. The award puts in the foreground female and male filmmakers who, with their engaging cinematography, offer the audience an opportunity for in-depth reflection on the often neglected issues of modern society and testify to the transformative, humanistic and poetic power of film images.


Stefan Komandarev, Bolgarija

Darko Bratina Award. Tribute To a Vision 2023



Kinoatelje is awarding the Darko Bratina 2023 award to Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev for his in-depth film opus of documentaries and feature films, which in the past three decades has marked not only Bulgarian but also European cinema with the recognizable narrative of a critical thinker of modernity.


In his role as a chronicler of the socio-political conditions of the working class, Komandarev not only uses the film as a means of criticizing the power structure and protest in the interest of social reform, but with the cinematic language of social realism he persistently reflects on a country at an eternal crossroads, full of contradictions and a painful past. It forces the viewer to question the meaning of ideology and religion, national and ethnic borders, social imbalances and political corruption. The director understands social justice as the key to the transition to a society in which equality and solidarity are fundamental values, and individual dignity is inalienable.

Competition program – First Crossings

Audience Award


At the festival, the prize for the best short film is also awarded as chosen by the festival audience. Five short films will be shortlisted. They will be shown in the Tir Gallery in Nova Gorica on Monday, October 16, 2023.

Jury Award

The best short films chosen by the programme selector Sandra Jovanovska compete for the prize of the international jury. She chose from 150 submitted short films for the main competition program. They will be shown at two festival venues, in Kinemax in Gorizia and Kulturni Dom Nova Gorica. The best short film, chosen by the jury, will become the recipient of a cash prize in the amount of 500 euros.

International Jury 

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Tatevik Manoukyan

Tatevik Manoukyan is currently the Head of International Department at the Union of Film Professionals of Armenia. In the past she was a Senior Specialist at the International Department at Vivaro Media and Programs & Production Director at Creative Armenia. She was the Head of International Department and a Producer at the film festival Golden Apricot in Yerevan, and the Head of Films and Dubbing Department Public TV Company of Armenia. She also works as a producer on films, such as Endless Escape, Eternal Return, I Am Not Alone, Children of War, Deadlock, etc. She has a master’s degree in International Law / International Relations from Yerevan State University.

Fritz Hock

Fritz Hock is the founder and director of K3 Film Festival in Villach, Austria, which focuses on the films from bordering regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Slovenia, and Carinthia. In addition, Fritz Hock manages a cinema d'essai and open-air cinema.

Steven Stergar

Steven Stergar is a Ph.D. candidate in Film and Media Studies at the University of Udine. His research interests focus on Italian Film History and the emergence of film culture from a glocal perspective. He has shared his work at international conferences and published articles and essays in academic journals. Since 2019, he’s been collaborating with the Premio Sergio Amidei, for which he’s a member of the scientific committee and curator of the two sections – Sguardi indipendenti, addressed to the Italian independent cinema, and Agorà, recently designed in synergy with the cross-border Film Festival Tribute to a Vision for shedding further light on common topics faced by both Italian and Slovenian filmmakers.

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