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Road Trip Movie ‘Yomeddine’ Wins at Geneva Film Festival

“Yomeddine,” a road-trip movie about an Egyptian leper and a young orphan journeying in search of family, won the Reflet d’Or for best feature film at the 24th Geneva Intl. Film Festival Saturday. The character-driven drama, Egyptian-Austrian director A.B. Shawky’s feature debut, premiered in competition in Cannes, and is Egypt’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar.

The features jury, led by Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, gave a special mention to Bi Gan’s languorous noir love story “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” The director’s sophomore feature tracks a lovelorn drifter’s return to his hometown in Southwest China.

“Autonomies,” written and created by Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon, and directed by Indursky, received the Reflet d’Or for best TV series. In the alternate-reality drama, Israel has split in two states: Jerusalem is ultra-Orthodox, while Tel Aviv is a secular state. The action focuses on two children who were switched at birth.

Aaron Bradbury’s “Vestige” received the Reflet d’Or for VR work. Gustaf Holtenäs’ “Rapin*,” featuring music by Jenny Wilson, was awarded the prize for music video, and “The Enemy” received the SENSible Award, which rewards a digital work “displaying outstanding humanist qualities.” Øyvind Holtmon’s “Oslo Zoo” received the People’s Choice Award for best web series, voted for by festivalgoers.

Earlier in the week, Emmanuel Cuénod, GIFF’s executive and artistic director, presented the Film & Beyond Award – the fest’s honorary prize – to director Peter Greenaway for lifetime achievement and “a career based on a constant dialogue between cinema, visual arts, photography, and drawing.”

Among the festival’s 250 or so guests were filmmakers Kenneth Lonergan, Stephen Frears, Eva Husson, Julie Bertuccelli and Andréa Bescond, and actors Eric Métayer, Jacob Berger, Manal Issa, Marina Golovine, Kate Moran, Nicolas Maury and Steve Wall.

The festival, which had sought to increase attendance by young people, and had an emphasis on innovative digital work, attracted more than 32,000 festivalgoers to its venues. The fest wrapped with screenings of Naomi Kawase’s “Vision” and Rolf van Eijk’s “My Foolish Heart.”

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