MADRID — Lucas Moodysson’s “Lilya-4-Ever” scooped honors for pic and actress (Oksana Akinshana) at the 40th Gijon Intl. Film Festival, which wrapped on Friday.
Chronicling a 14-year-old Russian girl’s decent into prostitution in Sweden, “Lilya” played to applause in Venice Film Fest’s Upstream section, and is Sweden’s candidate for the foreign-language Academy Award nominations and an EFA pic nominee.
Gijon’s top plaudits are some of its earliest prizes, however.
A regarded launchpad for edgy, liberal and indie fare in Spain, the eighth edition under director Jose Luis Cienfuegos battled against the slowdown in art film picks-ups for Spain as its two digital pay TV platforms mull a merger: many official selection pics lacked distribbers in Spain, including “Lilya.”
Popular pics in the Official Selection included Iranian films “Marooned in Iraq” a comedy from Bahman Ghobadi on Kurd exiles, and Manijeh Hekmat’s hard-hitting gaol drama “Women’s Prison.”
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love” played far better than at Cannes, winning Adam Sandler actor kudo.
Fest highlights included a performance by Islandic pop group Mum of its original score for “The Battleship Potemkin,” and a tribute to helmer Abbas Kiarostami.
Ian Dilthey won director honor for “The Longing,” Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Waiting for Happiness” a special jury award.