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Avignon/N.Y. fest kind to ‘Strangers’

Named Best American Feature

Emanuele Crialese’s comic love story “Once We Were Strangers” was named the best American feature at the 1998 Avignon/New York Film Festival, which wrapped Sunday.

“Strangers,” which premiered in competition at Sundance, does not have a U.S. distributor.

Agnes Merlet’s “Artemisia,” a biopic about an Italian female painter, was awarded the best French feature prize. It is being released by Miramax.

During the 10-day Avignon/New York fest, 18 independent features and 22 short subjects unspooled.

Lisa Collins’ “Tree Shade” won the award for best American short while Julie Lipinski’s “Theo T’es La?” captured the French short prize.

The 1998 Vision Award for outstanding cinematography went to Scott Ramsey for the American short “Little Red Riding Hood,” directed by David Kaplan and stars Christina Ricci.

Pierre Anais (“La Lettre”) and Paul Karlin (“Why I Don’t Go to the Movies”) won screenplay awards.