'Cat' and 'Violeta' prove other big winners

HUELVA, Spain– Beto Brant and Renato Ciasca’s steamy melodrama, “I’d Receive the Worst News From Your Beautiful Lips,” won the top Golden Colombus Saturday at Andalusia’s 37th Huelva Ibero-American Festival.

The plaudit, plus a cinematography nod for Lula Araujo, serve as artistic vindication for one of Brazil’s first recent new wave directors to attract international attention with stylish thrillers such as 1997′s “Belly Up” and “Friendly Fire” a year later.

One of the biggest local preems at October’s Rio Festival, “I’d Receive…” won Camila Pitanga best actress but proved a talking point more for its vigorous sex scenes than artistic achievement.

Huelva’s Special Jury Prize went to Argentina’s “The Cat Vanishes,” a psychological thriller turning around marital mistrust that marks a change of direction for its director Carlos Sorin.

Otherwise, major kudos went to directors that, though not necessarily much younger than Brant, have broken through abroad in the last ten years.

The biggest winner and a buzzed up title at Huelva was Andres Wood (“Machuca”) whose Chilean Oscar entry, “Violeta Went to Heaven,” scooped direction and, predictably, actress (Francisca Gavilan), for its portrait of singer-songwriter Violeta Parra.

Osmar Nunez nabbed actor for his perf as Argentine ruler Juan Peron in Paula de Luque’s “Juan and Eva.”

Screenplay went to Colombian director Carlos Moreno and his regular writing partner Alonso Torres for Sundance player “All Your Dead Ones,” a blackly comic vision of local authority and media treatment of Colombia’s mass killings.

Popular at March’s Guadalajara Fest, Mexican first-timer Patricia Martinez de Velasco’s family comedy “Between Us” re-confirmed its crowd-pleasing potential winning Huelva’s audience award.

Fest ran Nov.19-26.

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