'Animal's Run' scoops top local film

France’s “May They Rest in Revolt (Figures of Wars)” won the international competition at the 13th Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Film, Argentina’s biggest fest, which closed Sunday.

Sylvain George’s docu about illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel to the U.K. from France also picked up a mention from Fipresci, the Intl. Federation of Film Critics.

Bustling and smoothly run, the fest has become a window on new talent in Latin America, in particular Argentina, the busiest production market in the region with 100 features released per year.

Most of the Argentine films in competition world preemed at the event, such as fest opener “Vaquero” (Cowboy), about a dissatisfied actor. Pic was thesp Juan Minujin’s directing debut.

Greece’s Athina Rachel Tsangari scooped director for character exploration “Attenberg.”

Uruguayan Jorge Jelinek took actor for his role in “A Useful Life” as an overworked programmer at the Uruguayan Cinematheque. Actress went to Germany’s Jeanne Ballibar for her performance in breakup drama “At Ellen’s Age.”

Jury awarded a special prize to Argentine Santiago Mitre’s “The Student,” about a young man’s rapid rise in college politics. Another local draw, Hermes Paralluelo’s “Yatasto,” about garbage scavengers in Argentina, snared a distinction, while mentions went to Spain’s “Futures Market,” Brazil’s “The Monsters” and Guatemala’s “Marimbas from Hell.”

In the competition for Argentine feature, Nicolas Grosso’s “Animal’s Run,” about a crumbling family business, came out on top, while director went to Roman Cardenas for relationship drama “The Stones.”

At the eighth Buenos Aires Lab, one of the world’s biggest markets for Europeans looking to get into Latin American co-productions, Argentine Santiago Fillol’s coming-home drama “Sombie” won the top prize. The works-in-progress awards went to Chile’s “De jueves a domingo” (Thursday Through Sunday) by Dominga Sotomayor, Argentina’s “El ojo del tiburon” (The Eye of the Shark) by Alejo Hoijman, and Argentina’s “Aurora” by Nele Wohlatz.

And the winners are:

International Film: “May They Rest in Revolt (Figures of Wars),” Sylvain George (France)
Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari, “Attenberg” (Greece)
Actor: Jorge Jelinek, “A Useful Life” (Uruguay/Spain)
Actress: Jeanne Ballibar, “At Ellen’s Age” (Germany)
Distinction for Argentine Film: “Yatasto,” Hermes Paralluelo
Jury Special Prize: “The Student,” Santiago Mitre (Argentina)
Mention: “Futures Market,” Mercedes Alvarez (Spain)
Mention: “Marimbas From Hell,” Julio Hernandez Cordon (Guatemala/France/Mexico)
Mention: “The Monsters,” Guto Parente, Luiz Pretti, Pedro Diogenes and Ricardo Pretti (Brazil)
Argentina Feature
Film: “Animal’s Run,” Nicolas Grosso
Director: Roman Cardenas, “The Stones”
Cinematography: Ivan Fund and Eduardo Crespo, “Today I Felt No Fear”
Cinema of the Future Award:
Film: “Summer of Goliath,” Nicolas Pereda (Mexico/Canada)
Mention: “Year Without a Summer,” Tan Chui Mui

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