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Moscow is mad for ‘Johnny’

Film takes home top prize at 2morrow2

MOSCOW — Liberian child soldiers film “Johnny Mad Dog” took home the $50,000 top prize from Moscow’s 2morrow2 festival, which closed on Monday.

The Franco-Belgian-Liberian co-production narrowly beat Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg.”

“Johnny” helmer Jean-Stephane Sauvaire said that part of the coin would go to a charitable fund he has set up in Liberia, where preparation and shooting went on for more than two years.

It was a very human end to the four-day fest’s second edition, devoted to what programmer Alexei Medvedev terms “new wave cinema.”

Audiences at two Moscow screens were consistently full, prompting fest president director Ivan Dykhovichny to say at the closing ceremony: “The real winner here is you, the audience. You have had the chance to see the films. We’re happy here today, and confident that 2Morrow will come again.”

He was upstaged, however, by a clearly emotional jury prexy Abel Ferrara, who gave a long and improvised riff from stage, touching on many subjects including world politics. At one point, the helmer promised to go on all night.

Russian entry, Valeria Gaia Germanica’s teenage girl drama “Everybody Dies But Me” took the acting award for its ensemble cast, while Norwegian director Bent Hamer went away with the script prize for “O’Horten.”

Bill Plympton’s “Idiots and Angels” won for sound and Macedonian Teona Strugar Mitevska’s “I Am From Titov Veles” won for image.

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