Morocco's Foreign-language Oscar entry, Ali Zaoua, was awarded the Bronze Horse for best film at the 11th Stockholm International Film Festival which wrapped Sunday. Directed by Nabil Ayouch, the film is about a street urchin and his orphan friends, and was acted by real-life street kids in Casablanca.
The festival's other big winner was Stephen Daldry's crowd-pleaser Billy Elliot, which won the prize for best first feature, The E! Audience Award and the FIPRESCI award for best film.
The best script prize went to France's Virilite Et Autres Sentiments Modernes, written and directed by Ronan Girre. Best actor went to Eric Bana for his performance in Australian title Chopper and best actress to Ellen Burstyn for Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For A Dream.
Best cinematography went to Tim Orr for his work on David Gordon Green's George Washington and Special Mentions were given to the UK's Jamie Thraves for The Low Down and Spain's Cesc Gay for Krampack.
In the Northern Lights section, the best film award was shared by Sweden's Together by Lukas Moodyson and Set The Horses Free (Slip Hesterne Los) from Denmark's Erik Clausen.
The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award 2000 this year went to guest of honour Lauren Bacall, who received the award in person at the festival's Awards Ceremony at City Hall on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Ali Zaoua also scored at the 49th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg (November 9-18) where it won the best feature award.
Other winners at the German festival included Pardevant Notaire, directed by Sophie Bruneau and Marc-Antoine Roudil, which won best documentary; Iranian director Rafi Pitts' Sanam, which received the jury award; Yugoslav title Zemlja Istine, Slobode I Ljubavi, directed by Milutin Petrovic, which was honoured with the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Preis; and Belgium's Pleure Pas, Germaine, from Alain de Halleux, which walked away with the Audience Award.
The festival also announced that in addition to its annual Co-production Meetings, next year's event will also feature a tradeshow during which independent distributors will present their films to German exhibitors.
Karsten Kastelan IN BERLIN contributed to this report