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Mumbai fest wild for ‘Beasts’

Zeitlin's pic nabs grand prize for film, best actor

LONDON

Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” won grand prize and best actor for Dwight Henry at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, which wrapped Thursday.

Julia Garner took best actress for another U.S. film, Rebecca Thomas’s “Electrick Children.” Musa Syeed’s “Valley of Saints,” an India-U.S. co-production, won the special jury award while Anand Gandhi’s “Ship of Theseus” (India) nabbed the jury award for technical excellence for DoP Pankaj Kumar.

Antonio Mendez Esparza’s U.S., Mexican and Spanish co-production “Here and There” won for first feature.

U.S. helmer Andy Tennant (“Hitch”) headed the international competition jury that also included Korean director Im Sang-soo (“The Housemaid”), Indian thesp Rahul Bose (“Midnight’s Children”), French editor Pascale Chovance (“Bluebeard”) and Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Machado (“Lower City”).

Best film in the India Gold competition went to Ashim Ahluwalia’s “Miss Lovely.”

“Star Wars” producer Gary Kurtz headed the India Gold jury, the other members of which were the Tribeca fest’s Geoffrey Gilmore, Cannes’ Christian Jeune, cinematographer Declan Quinn (“The Reluctant Fundamentalist”) and “Sleeping Beauty” helmer Julia Leigh.

Prize money this year totalled $220,000.

Chinese helmer Zhang Yimou was on hand to collect the international lifetime achievement award while Indian thesp Waheeda Rehman nabbed the equivalent Indian honor.

Fest opened Oct. 18 with David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and closed with Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves” (Spain).

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