Jury's special mention goes to Spanish pic 'Elias'

“Ryna,” the feature debut of Romanian helmer Ruxandra Zenide, took the Valencian Golden Moon and the $22,500 cash prize at the 21st Cinema Jove Intl. Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

Pic turns on a teenager who’s struggling to achieve a sense of identity despite a hostile father and a rural environment.

Fest jury gave a special mention to Spanish film “La habitacion de Elias” by helmer Emma Tussell. Incisive, genre-slipping docudrama recounts Tussell’s childhood, with Ana Cuerdo playing a girl who travels to a Moroccan village to look for her father.

Other competition standouts were Mohamed Al-Daradji’s Iraqi pic “Ahlaam,” set in post-invasion Baghdad, and Polish social three-parter “Oda do radosci” (Ode to Joy), directed by Anna Kazejac, Dawid Jan Komasa and Miciej Migas.

Taking place in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, the four-day sprocket opera showcases films unreleased in Spain by directors age 35 or under.

Fest admissions came in at 35,000-40,000, roughly comparable to last year, even though it vied with the World Cup soccer tourney in Germany for eyeballs.

Cinema Jove closed with Jan Henrik Stahlberg’s “Bye, Bye Berlusconi.”

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