Vanja d’Alcantara wins best director for Beyond The Steppes.

The eighth edition of the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (Oct 8-16) concluded yesterday, awarding the grand prize to Alrick Brown’s drama Kinyarwanda. The accolade carried a cash prize of $19,400 (Y1.5m) sponsored by Sony.

Set during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Kinyarwanda interweaves six stories of survivors from across different tribes who refused to take part in the killings and imams that sheltered them at mosques. The Rwandan-US co-production previously won the audience award at this year’s Sundance.

Vanja d’Alcantara won best director for Belgian-Polish co-production Beyond The Steppes while Abner Benaim’s Chance was awarded best screenplay.

The special jury prize went to Swedish breakout hit Simple Simon.

The Skip City award was given to director Kenji Kohashi for Don’t Stop!. Established for Japan-based filmmakers, the prize grants free access to Skip City’s digital post-production facilities.

Daisuke Hatanaka’s A Drop Of Memories won the short film competition while Tomofumi Tanaka’s List and Hiroshi Shoji’s Ken and Kazu garnered special mentions.