McQueen film takes Grand Prix prize

BERLIN — Steve McQueen’s “Hunger,” about the final weeks in the life of imprisoned Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands, has won the Grand Prix at the Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.

Fest is the country’s biggest film showcase.

Screening in the international competition, “Hunger” beat Craig Baldwin’s U.S. title “Mock Up on Mu” and Alain Cavalier’s French drama “Irene” for the E20,000 ($29,000) prize, the fest’s highest honor, on Sunday.

“Hunger” also took also the critics award, worth another $14,400.

The audience prize went to “Oxygen,” by Russian helmer Ivan Vyrypayev.

Nik Sheehan’s documentary “Flicker,” about artist-inventor Brion Gysin and his contraption that promised a drugless high, won best film ($14,400) in the Film on Art Intl. Competition. Johan Grimonprez’s “Double Take” received a special mention.

In the New Polish Films sidebar, the $36,000 Wroclaw Film Prize, founded by local mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz, went to “Snow White and Russian Red,” by Xawery Zulawski. Katarzyna Roslaniec, director of “Mall Girls,” won the New Director prize, worth $14,400.

The 11-day fest unspooled 242 films from 45 countries plus 303 shorts. More than 122,000 viewers attended the event’s 564 screenings.

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