Film is country's Oscar candidate

PINAMAR, Argentina — Argentine hermaphrodite drama “XXY” extended its winning spree, picking up the top honor — the Gold Balance — at the fourth Pantalla Pinamar Festival, which wrapped Dec. 15 in the coastal town.

The frosh film of novelist-scribe Lucia Puenzo, pic is the country’s candidate for foreign-language Oscar and the Spanish Goya Awards, where it earned a nom. It has won accolades at Cannes, Edinburgh and Montreal.

Cristian Bernard and Flavio Nardini’s school-reunion drama “Regresados” (D-Graduated) took the silver and earned the top nod from Catholic communications org Signis, which gave a special mention to Hernan Gaffet’s tango-tinged dramedy “Ciudad en celo” (City in Heat).

“M,” a docu about director Nicolas Prividera’s probe into his mother’s disappearance during Argentina’s 1976-82 military dictatorship, took the bronze.

Pantalla Pinamar is gaining recognition in Argentina as a showpiece for homegrown films, with attendance rising 9.1% over the previous event to 24,000 for this year’s edition, held Dec. 8-15.

Kenneth Branagh made the trip to present his latest films as director, “The Magic Flute” and “Sleuth.”

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