‘Xenia’ Nabs Best Pic at Rio’s Felix Awards

'Xenia' Nabs Best Pic Rio's Felix

‘52 Tuesdays’ wins the Special Jury Prize at Rio Film Festival's new LGBT-themed category

Panos H. Koutras’ drama “Xenia,” sold by Pyramide Intl., won best fiction film at the first edition of the Felix Awards, Rio de Janeiro Intl. Film Festival’s new LGBT-themed category.

A telling portrait of contemporary Greek society, “Xenia” narrates two brothers odyssey heading to Thessaloniki to look for their estranged father.

Playing Cannes 2014 Un Certain Regard section, co-produced by Greece’s 100% Synthetic, France’s MPM Films and Belgium’s Wrong Man, “Xenia” saw buoyant initial sales at Cannes for Pyramide Intl.

The Special Jury Prize went to Australia’s “52 Tuesdays,” which already won the Crystal Bear plaudit at the Berlin Festival and best director for Sophie Hyde in Sundance.

Brazilian Miriam Chnaiderman’s “Tie and Red Nail,” an exploration into a construction of one’s possess body, lead by Dudu Bertholini, took best documentary.

The winners were selected from a list of 43 films competing this year at the Rio Festival. In previous editions, gay-themed films had their own sidebar, called Gay World. But the gay section’s curators felt the need to integrate the films presented in this category amongst all the other sections, creating instead the Felix Awards.

Felix Awards jury was presided by Wieland Speck, director of Panorama Section at Berlin and co-creator of Berlin’s Teddy Award. Further jury members included Brazilian screenwriter Joao Emanuel Carmeiro (“Central Station,” “Avenida Brasil”), Argentina’s filmmaker Albertina Carri and director Malu de Martino.

The Felix Awards launch coincides with the selection of Daniel Ribeiro’s gay coming-of-age debut, “The Way He Looks” as Brazil’s Foreign-Language Oscar entry. “The Way’s” plaudits include a Teddy Award and the Fipresci prize in Berlin.

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