Green’s debut film wins Newport festival

'Grace' wins best feature at Lake Placid Film Forum

NEW YORK — David Gordon Green’s debut pic “George Washington” took the dramatic film prize at the Newport Intl. Film Fest, and Nigel Cole-helmed “Saving Grace” won best feature at Lake Placid Film Forum as both New York-area events wrapped over the weekend.

“George Washington,” which was acquired at Cannes by Cowboy Booking and Antidote Films’ merged banner Code Red, centers on a group of children in a working-class town who conspire to cover up a fatal mistake. Green also picked up the director nod.

Among other prizes given at the Newport, R.I., event were documentary to Amir Bar-Lev’s “Fighter,” about a pair of Czech WWII refugees, and a jury award for director to Leon Desclozeaux for his narrative feature “Chittagong: Last Stopover.”

Wacky comedy wins

The Lake Placid forum’s feature, “Saving Grace,” is a wacky British comedy directed by Nigel Cole and starring Brenda Blethyn. Pic won the audience award at Sundance and will be released by Fine Line in August.

The forum also gave a documentary nod to Greg Stiever’s “Poles Apart,” which chronicles the first all-women, cross-Antarctic trek.

The third annual Newport Intl. fest, which opened June 6, unspooled north of 60 films before closing Sunday. Lake Placid event, co-founded by Russell Banks, featured panels with Paul Schrader, Buck Henry, Michael Ondaatje and Milos Forman, among others, for its inaugural run June 8 through Sunday.

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