Iranian film takes Golden Alexander

MOSCOW — “Over There” (Aan Ja), detailing the green card dilemmas of an Iranian man, has nabbed top prize at Thessaloniki Film Festival, South-east Europe’s leading sprocket opera.

Along with the Golden Alexander for best feature, the Abdolreza Kahani-helmed pic pocketed a check for Euro 37,000 ($47,000) at the fest’s closing ceremony Sunday.

The story of a man’s difficulties with his wife in the days before he is due to leave Iran to returns to the U.S. — without realizing that these problems are nothing compared to what the future will bring — impressed an international jury headed by Michael Ondaatje, the author of “The English Patient.”

A special jury award of Euros 22,000 ($28,000) and the Silver Alexander went to debut feature director Adrian Sitaru’s Romanian-French co-production “Pescuit Sportiv” (Hooked), about a couple’s weekend away that goes strangely awry.

Best director went to Argentinian Celina Murga for “A Week Alone” (Una Semana Solos) and best screenplay to Australian writer/director Matthew Newton for “Three Blind Mice.”

Ioana Flora and Maria Dinulescu shared the actress award for their performances in “Hooked”; best actor also went to a double hander, Sid Lucero and Emilio Garcia in prison drama “The Inmate” (Selda) by Philippines directors Ellen Ramos and Paola Villaluna.

An artistic achievement award went to Hungarian director Szabolcs Tolnai for “Hourglass” (Fovenyora) and a special mention to French writer and first-time director Diasteme for “Sunny Spells” (Le Bruit des Gens Autour).

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