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Cannes Critics go for ‘Gary’

French, Belgian directors top Week awards

CANNES — Gallic Nassim Amaouche’s “Goodbye Gary” and Belgian Caroline Strubbe’s “Lost Person’s Area” took top honors at the 48th Critics’ Week at Cannes on Friday.

Laced by Western overtones and set in a post-industrial town ravaged by the closure of its last factory, “Gary” won the Grand Prix, voted on by journalists and critics after films’ screenings.

Amaouche’s feature debut as a scribe and helmer, “Gary” offsets its core conflict between a father and his ex-con son with a small boy’s belief his father is really Gary Cooper. “Gary” is produced by Les Films A4 and StudioCanal, which will release it in France in July.

Another debut and dysfunctional family tale, and again set against an industrial wasteland, Strubbe’s “Area” scooped the SACD Prize for screenwriter, given by France’s authors’ rights collection society.

“Area” turns on a powerline maintenance man who, after an accident, is replaced by a Hungarian colleague — not only at work but in the affections of his girlfriend.

The best-reviewed of Critics’ Week competition players, Vladimir Perisic’s Serbian drama “Ordinary People,” about a young conscript’s part in a wartime massacre, went home empty-handed.

Shahram Alidi’s Kurdish drama “Whisper With the Wind” scooped the $10,600 cash prize sponsored by the Main Fund of Social Activities (CCAS) and awarded by the Assn. of Independent Cinema for Distribution (ACID); the Ofaj/TV5 Monde prize, awarded by a jury of 32 French and German high school students; and the Regarde Jeunes prize, given by seven young film buffs.

Swede Patrick Eklund’s “Seeds of the Fall” won the Canal Plus Grand Prix for short, with the paybox taking French rights. A jury of French professionals, including director Stephane Brize and distrib Jean Labadie, gave the Kodak Discovery Prize to “Logorama.”

CRITICS’ WEEK GRAND PRIX
“Goodbye  Gary,” Nassim Amaouche (France)

SACD PRIZE
“Lost Persons Area,” “Caroline Strubbe (Belgium- Netherlands-Hungary)

ACID/CCAS CASH PRIZE
“Whisper With the Wind,” “Shahram Alidi (Iraq)

Ofaj/TV5 MONDE (VERY) YOUNG CRITIC AWARD
“Whisper With the Wind,”

REGARDS JEUNES PRIZE
“Whisper With the Wind”

SHORTS AWARDS:

CANAL PLUS GRAND PRIX
“Seeds of the Fall,” Patrick Eklund (Sweden)

KODAK SHORT FILM DISCOVERY PRIZE
“Logorama,” Francois Alaux, Herve de Crecy, Ludovic Houplain (France)