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Valencia Moon shines on ‘Lessons’

Lafosse pic wins top honors a Cinema Jove

VALENCIA, Spain — “Private Lessons,” from Belgian writer-director Joachim Lafosse (“Private Property”), took the Golden Moon for film at Valencia’s 24th Cinema Jove Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

Kudos includes a E30,000 ($42,000) cash prize.

Comedy is about a naive teen tennis player who is kicked out of school and a tutor who tries to complete his education.

Fest director Rafael Maluenda described Lafosse as one of Europe’s foremost young talents.

“L’apprenti,” from France’s Samuel Collardey, took the jury prize. Collardey’s debut is a sensitive rural documentary turning on a 15-year-old boy who becomes a farmer’s apprentice for a year.

A bevy of features generated buzz, with the jury underscoring the high quality and ambitions of most competish titles, despite tough economic times.

Standouts were  Norwegian Rune Denstad Langlo’s drama about a washed-up former downhill skiing champ “North”; Peter Strickland’s “Katalin Varga,” a revenge story set in contempo Transylvania; and Radu Jude’s tragicomedy, “The Happiest Girl in the World.”

Jove closed with Dane Thomas Vinterberg’s “When a Man Comes Home,” a wild love, sex and opera comedy.

Jove gave honorary Moons to Cannes’ 2008 Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet (“The Class”) and Argentine helmer Albertina Carri (“The Rage”).

Its Future of Cinema prize, given to up-and-coming talents, went to thesp Alvaro Cervantes (“The Hanged Man,” “Pretexts”).

Eight-day event was dedicated to the memory of Gemma Santatecla, a much-loved, inspirational Jove organizer who died in September.

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