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AFI fetes Lonergan

Helmer-scribe gets cash, trips, Krispy Kreme donuts

The upcoming Paramount Classics release “You Can Count On Me” from writer-director Kenneth Lonergan took two awards for best film and best new writer at the awards ceremony that closed the AFI Fest in Los Angeles Thursday night.

In addition to cash and travel packages, Lonergan’s loot included a year’s supply of Krispy Kreme donuts.

Also in the New Directions From American Independents section, Rob Morrow received a special jury mention for his direction of “Maze,” while the Producer to Watch award went to Richard Miller and Ellen Rigas Venetis for “Songcatcher.”

In the international competition, grand jury prize for best feature went to “Blackboards” directed by Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf. The Kodak Vision Award in cinematography went to Peter Sova for his work on the U.K. pic “Gangster No. 1.”

The Discovery Documentary Competition prize went to Arlene Donnelly’s “Naked States,” with a special jury mention for “Gaea Girls” directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams.

The Audience Awards went to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Amores Perros” (“Love’s A Bitch”) for feature, “Homeland” from Jilann Spitzmiller and Hank Rogerson for documentary and Oliver Dieckmann’s “Ordinary Love” for short.

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