Shorts ‘Last Dog,’ ‘Mozart’ prized

Cash awards handed out at 29th edition

See Winners

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France — Horror, humor and heartache claimed the top slots at Clermont-Ferrand as “The Last Dog in Rwanda,” by Jens Assur of Sweden, won the Intl. Grand Prix, Philippe Pollet-Villard’s “The Mozart of Pickpockets” took the French Grand Prix and rising talent Royston Tan of Singapore drew the Labo Grand Prix for his ode to heartbreak, “Monkey Love.”

Cash prizes totaling some 118,250 euros ($153,725) were handed out Saturday night at the 29th edition of the so-called Cannes of short films.

“When I went to South Africa a year and a half ago, I didn’t know much about filmmaking, to be honest,” said Assur, who arrived straight from Stockholm to accept the award for his helming debut. His script for the pic, in which South Africa stands in for Rwanda, follows a Swedish war photographer who bears witness to the grisly aftermath of genocide.

Crime definitely paid for Pollet-Villard, who wrote, directed and co-starred in the droll tale of two Paris pickpockets whose technique involves impersonating plainclothes cops. Pic also won the Gallic Audience Prize and the FNAC budding talent award, which guarantees a DVD release a year hence.

Another comic fave — taking the international audience prize, the nicely endowed “Laughter” nod and the new cash award chosen by audiovisual librarians — was “Tanghi Argentini,” by Guido Thys of Belgium. Flemish-language short concerns a nerdy office worker’s efforts to learn the tango in order to impress a prospective girlfriend.

Pascale Faure of Canal Plus emphasized that last year the paybox showed 236 shorts, “one-fourth of which were acquired at the Clermont-Ferrand market.”

Four new stands in the market repped Sweden’s SVT, Belgium’s RTBF (Belgique), Japan’s Cartoon Network and French-language TV5 Monde.

Video-on-demand for platforms from Internet download to cell phones was the hot topic, with Shorts Intl. in France and Mini Movie Channel Intl. (with outposts in Luxembourg, Paris, Munich and Moscow) announcing new dedicated channels.

The powerful Gallic artists’ rights orgs that collect and redistribute royalties and residuals confronted Google about how it plans to fairly remunerate filmmakers whose work appears on GoogleVideo. No firm answers were forthcoming.

Fest, which exceeded last year’s 130,000 tickets sold, ran Jan. 26-Feb. 3. Thirtieth edition is slated for Feb. 1-9, 2008.

And the winners are…

International Competition

Grand Prix

“The Last Dog in Rwanda” (Den Sista hunden i Rwanda), Jens Assur (Sweden)

Special Jury Prize

“Deweneti,” Dyana Gaye (Senegal-France)

Audience Prize

“Tanghi Argentini,” Guido Thys (Belgium)

SACEM — C.S.T. Sound Design Award

“Tower” (Hochhaus), Nikias Chryssos (Germany)

Animated Film

“Leviathan” (Levijatan), Simon Bogojevic-Narath (Croatia)

Youth Jury Prize

“The T-Shirt” (Tricko), Hossein Martin Fazeli (Slovakia)

Canal Plus Prize

“The Substitute Teacher” (Il supplente), Andrea Jublin (Italy)

Mediatheques Prize

“Tanghi Argentini

Press Jury Prize

“Make a Wish” (Atmenah), Cherien Dabis (Palestine)

Fernand Raynaud Laughter Prize

“Tanghi Argentini

LABO (COMPETITION)

Grand Prix

“Monkey Love,” Royston Tan (Japan-Singapore)

Special Jury Prize

“Machine” (Maquina), Gabe Ibanez (Spain)

Audience Prize

“Volatiles” (Birds), Pleix

Canal Plus Prize

“Tale of How,” Blackheart Gang (South Africa)

SCAM Digital Work Award

“Raymond,” Bif (U.K./France)

Press Jury Prize

“Tygre” (Tiger), Guilherme Marcondes (Brazil)

National Competition

Grand Prix

“The Mozart of Pickpockets” (Le Mozart des pickpockets), Philippe Pollet-Villard

Special Jury Prize

“Infrarouge,” Lionel Mougin

Audience Prize

“The Mozart of Pickpockets

SACEM — C.S.T. Sound Design award

“En merchant” (Walking), Alexandre Bayle

First Film

“Nyaman’ Gouacou” (Viande de ta mere), Laurent Senechal

Actress

Fanta Toure and Manga Ndjomo, “Nyaman’ Gouacou”

Actor

Jean-Louis Mic, “Mic Jean-Louis,” Kathy Sebbah

Animated Film

“A feu,” Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka

Youth Jury Prize

“Sur ses deux oreilles,” Emma Luchini

Canal Plus prize

“Et alors,” Christophe Le Masne

“Attention Talent” Fnac Prize

“The Mozart of Pickpockets

Press Jury Prize

“Sur ses deux oreilles

Procirep Prize (short film producer)

Sebastien de Fonseca of Chateau-Rouge Production

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