Kuala Lumpur fest honors ‘House’

Pic wins best S. American film, actress

HONG KONG — Brazilian film “Alice’s House” (A Casa de Alice) scooped the top prize at the second running of the Kuala Lumpur Int’l Film Festival (Nov 26-29.) Pic, helmed by Chico Texeira, collected a prize of RM20,000 ($5,500) and took home additional awards for best South American picture and best actress in Carla Ribas.

Earlier in the week Malaysia’s culture, arts and heritage minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apda announced the establishment of a $4.1 million fund for production of local movies with historical, cultural and heritage themes.

Shafie said coin could increase the sums available for production sector by 40% and that within three years annual production could hit 35 movies a year.

Other prize-winners announced Saturday in the Malaysian capital included “Captain Abu Raed,” rewarded as best Asian film and for its actor Nadim Sawalha; Canada’s “Fugitive Pieces,” which was named best North American film; France’s “Darling” as best European film; Taiwan’s hit “Cape No. 7,” which won best cinematography prize; and Egypt’s “Hassan and Morcos,” which collected best screenplay award.

A group of African helmers working under the name Yes! That’s Us were named as best director for “Divizionz.” Pic is a South Africa-Uganda production about the struggle to maintain friendship in the face of adversity. It was also named best African film at the fest and won kudos for its music.

Hatta Azad Khan’s movie about an aging puppeteer “Wayang, was the only local Malaysian film to be rewarded. It collected a special jury prize and a cash reward of $825.

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