Austrian-born director Hans Weingartner walked away with this year's $28,700 (DM60,000) Max Ophuels Prize for his psychological drama Das Weisse Rauschen while the Prize of the Saarland Prime Minister went to Austria's Florian Flicker for Der Ueberfall.

The awards were handed out during the Max Ophuels Prize Film Festival in Saarbruecken, Germany (Jan 16-21), which focuses on up-and-coming German-speaking talent.

Philip Groening's Locarno Silver Leopard-winner L'Amour, L'Argent, L'Amour picked up two awards - best actor for Florian Stetter and the Femina Film Award for director of photographer Sophie Maintigneux.

Public broadcasters Saarlaendischer Rundfunk and ZDF awarded their joint $12,000 (DM25,000) Script Prize to Stefan Jaeger for his story of four thirtysomethings in Birthday, while the Interfilm Jury gave their prize to Esther Gronenborn's debut, which also won the the newcomer director award at the Bavarian Film Awards on Friday.

The festival's Support Prize was presented to Iva Svarcova for her German-Czech-Swiss co-production Als Grossvater Rita Hayworth Liebte; best actress honours were taken by Jana Thies for her performance in Stiller Sturm; and Florian Mischa Boeder picked up the Short Film Prize for Ich Muss Gehen.