Czech helmer is Skyy high

S.F. fest honors 1st pic

SAN FRANCISCO — Hours before Woody Allen’s “Hollywood Ending” ended the 45th annual San Francisco Intl. Film Festival, fest staff announced a roster of awards distributed among this year’s titles.

The Skyy Prize of $10,000, honoring a first feature of particular promise, went to Czech director Bohdan Slama’s post-glasnost village seriocomedy “Wild Bees.” In addition, jurors gave an honorable-mention nod to Joseph Gai Ramaka’s “Karmen Gei,” a contempo Senegalese update of the operatic “Carmen” tale.

Other festival winners included Thomas Riedelsheimer’s German-made artist profile “Rivers and Tides” (best feature docu), Gail Dolgin and Vincente Franco’s “Daughter From Danang” (best Bay Area feature docu), Matt McCormick’s deadpan “The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal” (best short docu) and David Chalker’s media critique “Hypocrite” (best Bay Area short docu). A special recognition nod went to Laleh Soomekh’s featurette “Dear Judge.”

The ballot-tabulated Audience Award winners were Hayao Miyazaki’s Nippon anime smash “Spirited Away,” which Buena Vista Intl. will English-dub for future U.S. release; and U.S. documentarian Dierdre Lynch’s “Photos to Send,” a revisit to the Western Irish terrain that famed photographer Dorothea Lange captured in memorable images almost 50 years ago.

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