Foreign fare has say at Paris festival

Willing's 'Eye' leads kudos

PARIS — Despite its spotlight on Francophone product, the jury for the 19th Paris Film Festival bestowed two prestigious kudos on foreign pics at Tuesday night’s closing ceremony.

British pic “Close Your Eyes,” helmed by Nick Willing and starring Goran Visnjic, took the grand prize, the Arc d’Or.

Pic is Willing’s second feature, after “Photographing Fairies,” and tells the tale of a telepathic psychiatrist. Visnjic won actor honors and pic also won for original soundtrack.

The Jury prize, fest’s second-most-coveted kudo, went to tyro helmer Maria Joao Ganga’s “Hollow City,” about a group of children fleeing civil war in Angola.

Actress honor was shared by Anne Parillaud for her performance in “Deadlines” and Yu Nan for “Jingzhe.”

Canadian director Louis Belanger’s “Gaz Bar Blues” won the Press Circle award; French film “Adoption,” by helmer Alain-Paul Mallard, took home the public choice prize; Gaul Louraine Groleau won the award for tyro French director for her first feature, “Passage”; and Moroccan director Narjiss Nejjar’s “Cry No More” walked away with Francophone honors.

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