Behzadi nabs directing prize for 'Burial'

BARCELONA — George Ovashvili’s “The Other Bank” took the top Golden Alhambra at the 3rd Granada Film Festival Cines del Sur, which wrapped Saturday. The kudo comes with a check for Euros50,000 ($69,252) for the pic’s producer.

Praised for its impressive perfs from a non-professional cast, “Bank” — Ovashili’s debut — turns on a 12-year-old son’s dangerous mission: finding his father behind enemy lines in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia.

The director’s trophy went to Behnam Behzadi, who in another first feature, “Before the Burial,” composes a fable about contempo dead-end Iran, a hot-button issue as the Granada fest unspooled. Kudo is worth $41,517.

The audience award went to Tatia Rosenthal’s adult-targeted, stop-motion feature “$9.99,” said to be the first-ever Australian-Israeli co-production.

Mainly backed by Andalusia’s Socialist Party government and the Aecid international Spanish agency, Spain’s three-year-old Granada fest attempts to strengthen relations with a natural co-production partner, Latin America, a neighbor, Africa, and Asia, the subject of a sidebar.

“One aim is for our showcases to be shown in other countries, Morocco, for instance. Another is to increase the industry side to the festival. Among other operations, broadcaster Al Jazeera and TVE’s new Cultural Channel have closed acquisitions,” fest director Jose Sanchez-Montes told Daily Variety.

Granada’s Cines del Sur fest ran June 13-20.

CINES DEL SUR
GOLDEN ALHAMBRA
“The Other Bank,” (George Ovashvili, Georgia-Kazakhstan)
DIRECTOR, SILVER ALHAMBRA
Behnam Behzadi, (“Before the Burial,”Iran )
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, BRONZE ALHAMBRA
“Jalainur,” (Ye Zhao, China)
AUDIENCE AWARD
“$9.99,” (Tatia Rosenthal, Israel)
RTVA MEDITERRANEOS AWARD
“Slingshot Hip Hop,” (Jackie Reem Salloum, Palestine-U.S)

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