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Dinard falls for Webber’s ‘Girl’

French fest salutes Brit pics

DINARD, France — “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” first-time helmer Peter Webber’s ultravisual explanation of how Vermeer might have come to paint the title canvas, took the Golden Hitchcock and audience award at the 14th Dinard Festival of British Cinema Sunday night. The Franco-British jury, led by Gallic producer Charles Gassot, was so divided over the six-title competition that they created a second award, a directing prize, which went to Scotsman Richard Jobson for his shoestring-budget adaptation of his semiautobiographical novel “16 Years of Alcohol.”

The Kodak cinematography award went to d.p. Wojciech Szepel’s work in Emily Young’s “Kiss of Life.”

Dinard’s 40 titles showcased in three days were an overwhelming success with local and industry auds. Ticket sales topped 18,000.

“Not only have we surpassed all attendance records,” noted artistic director Hussam Hindi, “but unfortunately, we’ve also turned away more viewers than ever before.”

Honoree Alan Parker, who explained that he and Ridley Scott were forced to go to America to pursue movie careers, rejoiced in the fact that it’s now possible for a British filmmaker to remain in Britain and make pics.

Jim Sheridan was on hand for a full retrospective and a gala showing of his latest, “In America.”

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