Metz' Afghanistan-set docu nabs Cannes' sidebar kudo

First-time helmer Janus Metz’ documentary “Armadillo,” about two Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, won the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes on Thursday.

Vietnamese scribe-helmer Phan Dang Di’s family drama “Bi, Don’t Be Afraid” nabbed the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers’ SACD prize for screenplay.

It also picked up the ACID/CCAS prize, backed by the Assn. of Independent Cinema for Distribution and the government’s Main Fund for Social Activities, which provides E8,000 ($10,120) towards distribution.

“Bi,” a Vietnamese/French/German co-production, was presented at the Cinefondation’s Atelier workshop in 2008.

A jury of 24 French and German high school students gave the OFAJ (Very) Young Critics’ award to “Sound of Noise,” a Swedish/French musical thriller directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson.

Helmer Daniel Joseph Borgman’s “Berik,” the Kazakhstan-set tale of the friendship between a blind man and a lonely 11-year-old boy, picked up the Canal Plus nod for short while Ariel Kleiman’s “Deeper Than Yesterday” won the Kodak Discovery nod for short.

This year’s Critics’ Week selection boasted seven first-time features, with an emphasis on French and Asian titles.

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