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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.

FEATURE
“12:08 East of Bucharest,” Corneliu Porumboiu

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

FIRST FEATURE
“Familia Tortuga,” Ruben Imaz

SPECIAL MENTION FEATURE
“Avida,” Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern

DOCUMENTARY
“Nacido Sin,” Eva Norvind

DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR
Nikolaus Geyrhalter for “Our Daily Bread”

PUBLIC PRIZE BEST PICTURE
“Familia Tortuga,” Ruben Imaz

PUBLIC PRIZE DOCUMENTARY
“Yo Presidente,” Gaston Duprat, Mariano Cohn

LATIN AMERICAN FEATURE
“Hamaca Paraguaya,” Paz Encinas

FIPRESCI BEST INTL. DOCU
“Copacabana,” Martin Rejtman

FIPRESCI BEST MEXCIAN FEATURE
“Ser Isla,” Eun-Hee Ihm

PFIZER PRIZE (FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PIC)
“The Ballad of Ezequiel Hernandez,” Kieren Fitzgerald