Jury split over Golden Hitchcock award

DINARD — Jamie Thraves’ “Treacle Jr,” about a man who leaves his family to live on the streets, and Nigel Cole’s “Made in Dagenham,” about femme workers at a Ford car plant who demand equal pay with men, shared the Golden Hitchcock as the 21st Dinard British Film Festival closed Sunday in Dinard, France.

“Dagenham” also won the Silver Hitchcock audience award.

The jury awarded the Bronze Hitchcock to Stuart Hazeldine’s “Exam,” which follows eight candidates vying for a job in a corporation by answering a single question. As part of the award, “Exam” will be distributed in 40 local theaters.

Bernard Rose’s “Mr. Nice,” based on the real-life adventures of marijuana smuggler Howard Marks, won the Kodak prize for cinematography.

The jury, lead by helmer Etienne Chatiliez, included thesps Anne Consigny, Sienna Miller, Elsa Zylberstein and Pascal Elbe, producer Sylvie Pialat and Mars Distribution/Films topper Stephane Celerier

“Made in Dagenham” already has a Gallic distributor but “Treacle Jr.” has yet to secure a place in French theaters.

“It would be great to get distribution in France, but it would be weird, because we haven’t gotten distribution in the U.K.,” Thraves said. “I am happy that big audiences saw the film here, and it has been really positive.”

The British Council and the U.K. Film Council’s inability to fund the fest this year was not good news.

But the five-day event was still popular among 20,000 local filmgoers who attended — some of whom were turned away from sold-out screenings.

There wasn’t a noticeable difference in the quality of the program or the event’s organization compared to years past. “There are not as many directors, producers, and writers from the U.K., but on the public side, it was huge,” said Stephen Woolley, producer of “Made in Dagenham,” who has been involved as either a director or producer of over a dozen films shown at Dinard since 1993.

“With less funding, the festival will have to be leaner and meaner. But that fact that the public keeps coming is fantastic and is good for the future.”

Event closed with helmer Peter Mullan’s “Neds.” Mullan told Daily Variety that the film’s violent portrayal of Scottish youth was based on his experiences while growing up.

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