Hungarian director Benedek Fliegauf's Dealer wasnamed best film at the 10th Athens International FilmFestival-Opening Nights which wrapped on Sept 27 with the out of competitiongala presentation of Steven Spielberg's The Terminal.
The festival kicked off on Sept 17 with the presentation ofMichael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. One hundred and forty films, up from120 last year, and representing over 30 countries, were unspooled during theten-day event.
Dealer, which tells the uncompromising story of a day in the life of a drug dealer, received the Golden Athena award,accompanied by a Euros 5,000 purse, chosen by an eleven-member jury formed byyoung cinephiles aged between 18-25 from across Europe.
Lee Kang-Shengfrom Taiwan was the recipient of the City of Athens award for Best Directionfor his first directorial outing, Bu Jian.
Spanish drama LeonAnd Olvido, directed by Xavier Bermudez, received the Audience Awardaccompanied by Euros 6,000 in cash to back the promotion of the film during its Greek launch.
All three awardedfilms came from the seventeen international productions-strong Panorama, one ofthe two competitive sections of the event. The second, American Independents,was composed of fifteen titles.
Other publicfavorites among the films in the Panorama section were Gonzalo Justiniano's B-Happy,Zhu Wen's South of The Clouds (China), Nimrod Antal's Kontrol (Hungary),Paprika Steen's Consequences/ Lad de Sma Born (Denmark), HirokiRyuichi's Vibrator (Japan) as well as the Greek debutant VassilisKatsikis' CC TV.
Standing out inthe American Independents were Down To The Bone by Debra Granik, LisaCholodenko's Cavedweller, Graham Robertson's Able Edwards, JacobAaron Estes' Mean Creek, Dylan Kidd's P.S., Nikole Kassell's TheWoodsman as well as Graffiti Artist in the presence of its directorJames Bolton while director Mark Milgard and screenwriter Rob Williamsonpresented Dandelion.
Among the rest ofthe festival's numerous offerings, a stand out was the Fatih Akin retrospectiveorganized in collaboration with the Goethe Institut and in the presence of thedirector for the screening of Head On (Gegen die Wand).
Other spotlights focused on Walter Salles, the Japanesemaster Yasujiro Ozu and Thai Cinema.