Senegalese helmer Ousmene Sembene’s “Moolaade” was named the year’s top foreign pic in Web site IndieWire’s annual poll of North American crix, fest programmers and journos.
Sembene was named the year’s top helmer, sharing that honor with “Notre musique” director Jean-Luc Godard.
In “Moolaade,” the 81-year-old writer-director Sembene tackles the topic of ritual female genital mutilation, practiced in 38 African countries.
Trailing behind Sembene’s work in pic voting were Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Distant,” “Notre musique,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Blissfully Yours,” Kim Ki-duk’s “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring” and Michael Haneke’s “The Time of the Wolf.”
IndieWire’s poll of 31 film pros surveys foreign pics only.
Top docu of the year was Jorgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s experimental “The Five Obstructions.”
Abbas Kiarostami was named scribe of the year for his Iranian import “Crimson Gold,” beating out Sembene and “Maria Full of Grace” writer-helmer Joshua Marston.
In the actor category, “The Sea Inside’s” Javier Bardem was tapped top male thesp; and “Maria Full of Grace” newcomer Catalina Sandino Moreno was named the year’s best actress.
In the supporting categories, Rodrigo de la Serna (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and Esther Gorintin (“Since Otar Left”) were tops.
Russian helmer Andrei Zvyagintsev’s “The Return” — a Golden Globes nominee last year and a February release — came back as the year’s best foreign-lingo debut.
The martial arts epic “House of Flying Daggers” nabbed top cinematography honors, beating out another martial arts pic by prolific Zhang Yimou, “Hero.”
The IndieWire poll includes John Anderson, Scott Foundas, Lisa Schwarzbaum and Scott Tobias, as well as programmers from South by Southwest, the Chicago Film Festival, the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Hamptons film fest.