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Mexico film festival picks ‘Bucharest’

'Familia' takes audience award

The fourth Mexico City Intl. Film Fest, or Ficco, crowned Romanian comedy “12:08 East of Bucharest” by Corneliu Porumboiu best feature Saturday night while the audience award went to “Familia Tortuga” (Turtle Family), the tyro effort from Mexico’s Ruben Imaz.

Feature jury split the director award between Hungarian Gyorgy Palfi for “Taxidermia” and Portuguese helmer Hugo Vieira Da Silva for “Body Rice: El cielo que nos contiene.”

“Familia Tortuga,” which also won the nod for first feature, follows members of a middle-class Mexican family one year after the mother’s death. Each is immersed in their own crisisas they prepare to visit the grave site on the anniversary of her death.

Docu nod went to Mexico’s “Nacido Sin” (Born Without), directed by the late Eva Norvind, a Norwegian-born bombshell who built a career as a Mexican pulp film actress before becoming a renowned N.Y. dominatrix and sex therapist.

Film is about a man, born without limbs, who fathered six children and managed to support his family by playing harmonica on the street. Film was finished by editor Carlos Armella (“Toro Negro”) and produced by Norvind’s daughter, telenovela actress Nailea Norvind.

Fipresci critics voted for Argentine docu “Copacabana” and the Mexican feature award went to Eun-Hee Ihm for “Ser Isla” — a film set in Korea.

Some 220 films were shown, featuring the first mass screenings of HD projections in Mexico City. In its fourth year, Ficco focused its competitions on young arthouse films while offering retrospectives on experimental figures like James Benning, Peter Watkins and Lech Kowalsky.

Festival highlights included a live musical set from John Cameron Mitchell and cast promoting “Shortbus,” and a screening of Guy Maddin’s silent film “Brand on the Brain,” with a live orchestra, onstage Foley artists and Geraldine Chaplin narrating, in a 19th century theater.

“12:08 East of Bucharest,” Corneliu Porumboiu

Gyorgy Palfi for “Taxidermia”
Hugo Vieira Da Silva for “Body Rice: El cielo que nos contiene”

“Familia Tortuga,” Ruben Imaz

“Avida,” Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern

“Nacido Sin,” Eva Norvind

Nikolaus Geyrhalter for “Our Daily Bread”

“Familia Tortuga,” Ruben Imaz

“Yo Presidente,” Gaston Duprat, Mariano Cohn

“Hamaca Paraguaya,” Paz Encinas

“Copacabana,” Martin Rejtman

“Ser Isla,” Eun-Hee Ihm

“The Ballad of Ezequiel Hernandez,” Kieren Fitzgerald

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