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Seville dances to Audiard’s ‘Beat’

Silver kudo goes to 'Dummies'

MADRID — Jacques Audiard’s French drama “De battre mon coueur s’est arrete” (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) won the Golden Giraldillo for best pic at the second edition of Seville’s European Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

The Golden Giraldillo comes with a Euros 60,000 ($70,340) cash prize for the Spanish distributor.

A cocky remake of James Toback’s 1978 cult underworld character study “Fingers,” “The Beat” focuses on a 28-year-old man destined to follow in his father’s footsteps in the real estate business. But a chance encounter leads him to believe that he can become, like his mother, a concert pianist.

The Silver Giraldillo went to Austrian multi-character drama “Crash Test Dummies,” the first feature film by French-born director Jorg Kalt.

Presided by German DP Michael Ballhaus, the official section jury also handed a special prize to “Johanna,” a modern reworking of the Jeanne d’Arc story staged as opera in the style of Gothic grunge, helmed by young Magyar director Kornel Mundruczo.

“Crash” and “Johanna” both received $35,170.

Seville University students gave the Eurimages Prize to Michael Haneke’s “Cache,” winner of a best director nod at Cannes.

Danish docu “Min Morfars Morder” (My Granddad’s Murdered) took the main trophy of the Section Euro-doc.

The Europe Generation Award went to Germany’s “Kebab Connection,” by Anno Saul, while the winner of the Europe Europe Section, voted by the public, was Italian Alessandro D’Alatri’s “The Fever.”

Seville also feted Gallic director Patrice Chereau, Hungarian helmer Bela Tarr and Spanish-Dutch helmer Sonia Herman Dolz. Chereau’s last pic, “Gabrielle,” closed the festival.

Running Nov. 4-12, with a special emphasis on French cinema, the Seville sprocket opera notched up 65,000 admissions, 20% more than the 2004 edition.

Per fest director Antonio Grosso, “If there’s one lesson from the Seville Fest, it’s that films from continental Europe have an audience.”

As an European fest that focuses 100% on European cinema, Seville fest has inked a deal with the European Film Academy to unveil nominations for the European Film Awards through at least 2008. This year, Haneke’s “Cache” collected seven major noms, including pic, director, actor and actress. The 18th EFA winners will be announced Dec. 3 in Berlin.

Of other festival highlights, Spanish black comedy specialist Alex de la Iglesia (“Ferpect Crime”) revealed that is prepping his second English-language pic as a director, “Oxford Crimes,” a $7.3 million thriller based on the novel “Oxford Murders” by Argentinian author Guillermo Martinez. Pic will be produced by Spain’s Tornasol Films.

Attempting to build the presence of producers, distribbers and sales agents, the 2006 event will take place a week later than this year, to move away from American Film Market dates.