‘Voyage’ sails with Plata fest prize

Special mention goes to 'Bitter Dream'

BUENOS AIRES — French helmer Ismael Ferroukhi’s “Le Grand Voyage” took top film honors and the local crix award at Argentina’s 20th Mar del Plata Film Festival, Latin America’s only FIAPF category one fest, which wrapped Sunday.

Mohamad Majd, who starred in the pic about a father and son’s road trip to Mecca, picked up the actor award.

The seven-person jury for the competition gave a special mention — the second most important prize — to “Bitter Dream,” a black comedy directed by Iran’s Mohsen Amiryoussefi about a cemetery director preparing his own funeral.

Audience choice was Brazilian Lucia Murat’s “Almost Brothers,” about the 50-year friendship of two Brazilians. It also picked up the award for Iberian-Latin American film.

In its third year under the direction of Argentinean helmer-scribe Miguel Pereira (“The Internal Debt”), the fest saw attendance rise around 6% from 2004, with 150,000 tix sold for the 300 features and shorts over 10 days. Low-ticket prices and a strong economy helped buoy attendance.

Morocco’s Yasmine Kassari picked up the director award for “The Sleeping Child,” about the impact of immigration in North Africa.

Emmanuelle Devos shared actress honors for her role in Belgian Frederic Fonteyne’s “Gilles’ Wife,” the story of an overly devoted spouse, with Laura Linney in American helmer Dylan Kidd’s offbeat romance “P.S.”

Bernd Eichinger took the screenplay award for Germany’s Oscar nominee “Downfall,” a look at the last days of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

And the winners are:

FILM

“Le Grand Voyage,” directed by Ismael Ferroukhi (France)

DIRECTOR

Yasmine Kassari, “The Sleeping Child” (Morocco)

SCREENPLAY

Bernd Eichinger, “Downfall” (Germany)

ACTOR

Mohamed Majd, “Le Grand Voyage”

ACTRESS

Emmanuelle Devos, “Gilles’ Wife” (Belgium) and Laura Linney, “P.S.” (USA)

IBERIAN-LATIN AMERICAN FILM

“Almost Brothers,” directed by Lucia Murat (Brazil)

JURY’S SPECIAL MENTION

“Bitter Dream,” directed by Mohsen Amiryoussefi (Iran)

SPECTATORS’ CHOICE

“Almost Brothers,” directed by Lucia Murat

FEMALE DIRECTOR

Eleonore Faucher, “A Common Thread” (France)

First film: “A Way of Life,” Amma Asante (U.K.)

Second film: “Brothers,” Susanne Bier (Denmark)

ACCA (local film critics assn.) Award

“Le Grand Voyage”

Fipresci (intl. critics assn.) Award

“A Year Without Love,” directed by Anahi Berneri (Argentina)

SIGNIS AWARD

“The Three Rooms of Melancholia,” directed by Pirjo Honkasalo, (Finland)

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