MADRID — Pjer Zalica’s “Fuse,” a black comedy about a Bosnian town preparing for a VIP’s visit, was the surprise winner of the top Golden Palm Tree at the 25th Valencia Intl. Film Festival, also known as the Valencia Mostra.
Winner bested two Israeli pre-faves, femme drama “Or” and family drama “Thirst,” for the top spot.
The other main plaudits in the Official Section, which featured pics from Mediterranean-rim countries, were picked up by Portuguese Luis Felipe Rocha’s “Night Passage,” an intense drama about a girl’s shame and guilt after she is raped by a drug addict. Pic took the Silver Palm Tree award and shared Best Script with “Fuse,” while protag Leonor Seixas took Best Actress.
Best Actor went to Bosnian Branko Djuric for his perf as a slob on the mend in self-helmed transcultural relationship comedy “Cheese and Jam.” The only Spanish offering in the Official Section was Valencian debutante Rafa Montesinos’ “Aquitania.”
Fest, at which a total 240 pics were screened across 26 different sections, was rescheduled this year to take place in July rather than its traditional October berth, enabling it to take full advantage of its Mediterranean coastal setting and weather. This change was reflected in increased aud figures, with screenings on the city’s Malvarrosa beach attended by 10,000 people.
Fest, which also featured the Spanish preems of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Kill Bill Vol. 2,” ran July 15-24.