Jove over the moon with dark ‘Forest’

Valencia fest favors bleak arthouse pics

MADRID — Downbeat pics won out at the 20th Cinema Jove Intl. Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

Toronto fest player “The Forest for the Trees” by German first-time helmer Maren Ade scooped the top Valencia Golden Moon and Euro18,000 ($21,700) in prize money.

Shot in DV Cam, Ade’s debut chronicles the solitude and building desperation of a young woman teacher who takes a new post at a big city school in Karlsruhe, southwest Germany.

The award adds to a building trove of plaudits for the film: “Forest” took top honors at both Portugal’s Indie Lisboa fest in May and the Newport Film Festival in June.

Special jury mentions went to Dane Nicolas Winding’s despairing take on the drug trade “With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II” and its lede Mads Mikkelsen, and to Stephane Kuthy’s bleak photography in Swiss helmer’s Bettina Oberli’s “North Wind.”

A bastion of small indie films with edge, Valencia’s Cinema Jove kicked off June 18 with Hannes Stohr’s Euro soccer crosscutter “One Day In Europe” and closed with Thomas Vinterberg’s “Dear Wendy.”

Edition’s highlight was a tribute to Mexican Guillermo del Toro (“Mimic,” “Hellboy”), who was awarded the Valencia Moon Prize for career achievement.

Del Toro is about to direct the Spain-set “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

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