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‘Lilya’ takes top honors at Gijon

Moodysson's pic nabs best actress, best film

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.

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