‘Childhood’ tops Huelva festival

'Morire,' 'Date,' 'Clown' also take major kudos

MADRID — Benjamin Avila’s “Clandestine Childhood” won a Golden Columbus on Saturday at Andalusia’s 38th Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, one of Europe’s top Latin American pic showcases.

Plaudit marks further recognition for one of Argentina’s highest-profile debuts of 2012. Pic world premiered to a warm reception in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight this year.

An autobiographical take on Argentina’s Dirty War, “Childhood” is lead produced by Luis Puenzo’s Historias Cinematograficas and, bought by France’s Pyramide Intl. off 2011’s Ventana Sur, has sold to 25 territories, plus a Lap TV pan-Latin America sale.

Otherwise, major awards were spread across a wide range of titles, as is often the case with Huelva.

Recording a daughter caring for her dying mother, “Mai morire,” Mexican Enrique Rivero’s follow-up to Locarno Golden Leopard winner “Parque via,” took a special prize, and Mexican Kenya Marquez’s “Expiration Date,” a standout at last year’s Morelia Festival, nabbed the director nod.

Alicia Fernandez, the lead in “Young & Wild,” Chilean Marialy Rivas’ bisexual teen chronicle and Sundance screenplay winner, scooped the actress prize. Argentinean Pablo Pinto drew the actor kudo for his perf as a placid body builder in Gustavo Fernandez Trivino’s “From Tuesday to Tuesday,” a Guadalajara Construye winner that also received the new director kudo.

Selton Mello’s “The Clown,” a critical and box office hit in Brazil and the country’s foreign-language Oscar entry, walked off with Huelva’s audience award.

Fest ran Nov. 18-24.

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