‘The Maid’ cleans up at Huelva festival

Chilean pic wins feature, director and actress at fest

Chilean Sebastian Silva’s “La nana” (The Maid) beat strong competition at the 35th Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, Europe’s main confab devoted to movies from Spain, Latin America and Portugal.

Copping best feature, direction and actress for Catalina Saavedra, Silva’s already multiprized sophomore feature “The Maid” cleaned up at Huelva, a fest focused on promoting new talent and lesser-known titles. “Maid” has won a prize for its lead actress at Turin, a grand jury and actress award at Sundance, screenplay at Miami and a Fipresci nod at Guadalajara.

Argentina picked up two prizes: one for Adrian Caetano’s “Francia,” which nabbed the special jury award, and best first feature for Gabriela David’s “La mosca en la ceniza.”

Writer-helmer Hector Galvez took the screenplay kudo for “Paradise,” a Spain-Peru-Germany co-production.

The public blessed Spain’s “Hector and Bruno,” helmed by debutante Ana Rosa Diego, with an audience award. Also well received by festgoers were recent Argentine B.O. hit “Cuestion de principios,” by Rodrigo Grande, and Mexican Mariana Chenillo’s dramedy “Nora’s Will,” which also won actor (Fernando Lujan).

In a parallel kudofest, captive auds at the Huelva Provincial Penitentiary gave the Freedom Key Award to Spain’s “Hector and Bruno.”

Among competition titles and submissions for the 2009 edition, “The subjects films address are increasingly universal: National idiosyncrasies are disappearing,” said fest director Eduardo Trias.

Running Nov. 19-21, Huelva’s 10th Ibero-American Co-Production Forum saw Ibero-American producers pitching Spanish broadcasters and potential co-production partners for coin.

Go to Variety.com/huelva for a full list of winners.

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