‘Lantana’ wins at Melbourne

Canuck 'Atanarjuat' takes second, Connolly's 'Bank' third

SYDNEY — Helmer Ray Lawrence’s relationship drama “Lantana” has been voted audience favorite at the 50th Melbourne Intl. Film Festival, which wrapped Aug. 5 with a record 13% B.O. rise.

Runner-up was “Atanarjuat the Fast Runner,” from Canadian helmer Zacharias Kunuk; third place went to fest opener “The Bank,” directed by Robert Connolly.

New artistic director James Hewison is expecting a healthy surplus for fest coffers. He said a highlight of the 19-day event was former rapper and festival guest Rom Malco’s spontaneous performance to applause from the Capitol Theater audience.

The 10th Brisbane Intl. Film Fest also wrapped Aug. 5, recording a 2% B.O. rise. Aud-voted favorite pic was French comedy “The Closet,” directed by Francis Veber; runner-up was Josef Fares’ “Jalla! Jalla!” and “Lantana” took third.

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