‘Iska’s,’ ‘Konyec’ top Film Week

Szasz took the director prize for 'Opium'

BUDAPEST — Kids and the elderly were the big winners at the 38th Film Week, Hungary’s annual cinema festival, which ended Tuesday.

“Iska’s Journey,” Csaba Bollok’s gripping and dark portrait of street children, won for auteur film; Gabor Rohony’s “Konyec,” a social thriller about a mild-mannered septuagenarian who turns to crime to stave off debt collectors, won the genre pic prize.

Seventeen Hungarian features unspooled in competition.

Veteran filmmaker Janos Szasz took the director prize for “Opium: Diary of a Mad Woman.” Szasz also took the Gene Moskowitz Prize, awarded by the foreign press and professionals. Pic’s cinematographer, Tibor Mathe, and its sound mixing team (Istvan Sipos, Manuel Laval and Matthias Schwab) also drew nods.

The People Choice Award, voted online, went to “Konyec”; Arpad Dogdan drew the Sandor Simo Prize for first film for “Happy New Life.”

Other feature film prizes went to Judit Elek for the screenplay to “The Eighth Day of the Week.” Thesping prizes went to actress Kata Kovacs for “Kythera” and actor Sandor Zsoter for “Fragment.”

The award for original score went to Membran for “Happy New Life.” Pic also drew producer kudos for Gabor Sipos and Gabor Rajna of Laokoon Film.

Eight-day fest, which devoted its first days to nonfiction films, was notable for a strong lineup of both documentary and experimental films. Among the 39 docs, the main award went to Reka Kincses’ “Balkan Champion,” while the experimental film prize went to Nicolaus Myslicki’s “Hypocritical Saint.”

The jury awarded the short feature trophy to Laszlo Nemes Jeles’ “With a Little Patience.”

The 38th fest may be remembered for world-class organization and an abundance of films. For the first time in the Film Week’s history, features were selected for competition. The 2007 lineup also included popular pics such as Gabor Herendi’s “Lora,” which was shut out of the prizes but is likely to be a box office hit.

Herendi’s previous features “Some Kind of America” and “Hungarian Vagabond” sold well internationally; “Lora” will screen Friday at the Berlinale.

Judges gave special mention to “Slow Mirror,” by brothers Igor and Ivan Buharov.

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