SAN LUIS, Argentina — Israel’s “Meduzot” (Jellyfish) scooped the Gold Puntano at the first San Luis Cine Festival, which closed Sunday.
The Cannes-laurelled debut feature from co-directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen about young Israelis moving to adulthood took home $50,000.
Canadian David Cronenberg drew director honors for “Eastern Promises,” which also picked up the screenplay nod for Steven Knight.
German Maren Kroymann won actress plaudits for her performance as a 50-year-old social worker who has an affair with her teenage charge in “Verfolgt” (Hounded).
Uruguayan Cesar Troncoso took actor for “El bano del Papa” (The Pope’s Toilet), about a villager who aims to make a small fortune by selling food and beverages during Pope John Paul II’s visit to the small community.
The seven-member jury, led by Geraldine Chaplin, added a category in the 18-strong competish for debut feature, awarding it to Lebanese helmer Nadine Labaki’s “Caramel,” a romantic comedy set in the beauty salons of Beirut.
German helmer Stefan Schwietert’s “Heimatklange” (Echoes of Home), a look at three Swiss vocalists, took top documentary and a cash prize of $10,000.
“Gong,” by Maria Antolini of Argentina, won the shorts competition and $5,000 in cash. The shorts jury awarded a special mention to “Frigidaire” by Melina Tocce, also of Argentina.
The buzz at the 10-day event, which closed with Bille August’s “Goodbye Bafana,” was the strong lineup of films and the attendance of celebs like Chaplin, Catherine Deneuve, Emma Suarez and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.
San Luis wants to build the fest into a prominent stop on the international circuit, hoping to attract film production to the province and its recently opened $3 million film studio.
Julio Marbiz, general director of the event, said the next edition will be held Nov. 14-23, 2008.
And the winners are:
“Meduzot” (Jellyfish), Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen (Israel, France)
David Cronenberg, “Eastern Promises” (U.K., Canada, U.S.)
Cesar Troncoso, “The Pope’s Toilet” (Uruguay, France, Brazil)
Maren Kroymann, “Hounded” (Germany)
Steven Knight, “Eastern Promises” (U.K., Canada, U.S.)
“Caramel,” Nadine Labaki (France, Lebanon)
“Echoes of Home,” Stefan Schwietert (Switzerland, Germany)
“Gong,” Maria Antolini (Argentina)
SHORT, SPECIAL MENTION:
“Frigidaire,” Melina Tocce (Argentina)