‘Hong Kong’ tops Gijon fest

GIJON, Spain — The 35th Gijon Intl. Film Festival, which closed Saturday, further reinforced its position as Spain’s premier showcase for low-budget, edgy indie pics.

Attendance was up some 40% over last year, with an early-evening screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1924 debut “Strike” drawing SRO auds. In its third year under director Jose Luis Cienfuegos, the rejuvenated Gijon event also has begun to build up an industry presence. Top local distribbers in attendance included reps from Filmax and Aurum, as well as paybox Canal Plus Spain.

Fruit Chan’s tough “Made in Hong Kong” copped the best feature and screenplay plaudits, while Tom Tykwer’s meller “Wintersleepers” (Winterschlafer) picked up the award for best direction. The Special Jury Prize went to Harmony Korine’s portrayal of freaky white trash, “Gummo.”

Other fest standouts in its Radical sidebar included applause for both Stuart Urban’s S&M comedy “Preaching to the Perverted” and Ela Troyano’s gay-themed “Latin Boys Go to Hell,” which looks bound for local theatrical airing after prominent press coverage in Spain.

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