Seville worships ‘Venus’

Stassi drama takes silver

MADRID — Peter O’Toole-starrer “Venus” took the top Golden Giraldillo at the 3rd 100% European Seville Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

Directed by Roger Michell (“Notting Hill”), “Venus” turns on three aged friends and the relationship of one of them, Maurice (O’Toole), a jobbing actor, with an 19-year-old girl. Prize comes with Euros 60,000 ($76,800) for the Spanish distributor.

“Venus” beat out “The Lives of Others,” the Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck helmed pic about the secret police in East Berlin, which won the Silver Giraldillo and $38,400. “Others” is Germany’s Oscars entry.

Presided over by German helmer Margarethe von Trotta, the jury handed a special award ex-aequo to Claude Chabrol’s legal drama “A Comedy of Power” and Georgian Otar Iosseliani’s political fable “Gardens in Autumn.” Pics shared $38,400.

Best film of the Europe Europe Section, voted by the public, was German helmer Sven Taddicken’s tragicomic love story, “Emma’s Bliss.” Pic earned $76,800.

Teuton docu “Tailor-Made Dreams,” about an Indian tailor’s adventurous trip around Europe, won the main trophy in sidebar Euro-doc.

Running Nov. 3-11, with a special focus on Italian cinema, the Seville event ratched up 80,000 admissions, 23% more than last year.

One fest highlight was its announcement of European Film Awards noms, led by six for both Volver” and “The Lives of Others.”

Fest was attended by top artfilm indie distribs — Wanda, Alta, Golem — plus some upscale Euro producers. Industry announcements included:

— Brit producer Kevin Loader and France’s La Fabrique du Films is teaming with Spanish producer Gerardo Herrero’s Tornasol Films to co-produce Alex de la Iglesia’s next thriller, “Oxford Murders.” Toplining John Hurt and Leonor Watling, the $10 million production is scheduled to shoot early 2007.

— Spanish actress-director Laura Mana (“To Die in San Hilario”) is attached to helm Maestranza Films’ $9 million project “La Roldana,” a biopic of the Andalusian sculptress known as La Roldana. According to Maestranza’s Antonio Perez, pic will be structured as an international co-production with the participation of exec producer Ignacio Darnaude.

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