European films dominated the awards at the 22nd Mar del Plata Film Festival, which closed yesterday with a record attendance of 190,000 spectators.

Catalan film-maker Cesc Gay received the Golden Astor prize for Fiction, a drama about a director trying to finish the script of his next movie at a friend's house in a small mountain village.

The jury headed by American director Charles Burnett awarded the Special Jury Prize to Gardens In Autumn, a French-Italian-Russian co-production shot by veteran master Otar Iosseliani about a French state minister's breakdown.

Italian Marina Spada (As the Shadow) and Korean Hong Sang-soo (Woman On The Beach) shared the Silver Astor for best directing, while Zaza Rusadze y Dito Tsintsadze took the best screenplay award for The Man From The Embassy (Germany).

The two acting Astors went to German Sandra Hueller (Madonnas) and Argentinian actor Carlos Resta (La Peli). Another local film, Hernan Gaffet's Ciudad En Celo (City in Heat), took the Audience Award.

Argentinian feature documentary M won the new Latin American competition. Nicolas Prividera's first film about his search for his mother, who disappeared in 1976, received the $50,000 Ernesto Che Guevara cash award. It also took the FIPRESCI award.

The international film critics association FIPRESCI also awarded Brazilian Karim Ainouz's Suely in the Sky as the best Latin American film of 2006 at the closing ceremony.

'It's been a hugely successful year for Mar del Plata, with its largest crowds ever,' said Miguel Pereira in his fifth and final year as the $1.8m film festival director.

Awards in full

Golden Astor
Fiction, by Cesc Gay (Spain)

Special Jury Prize
Gardens in Autumn, by Otar Iosseliani (France/Italy/Russia)

Silver Astor for best director (ex aequo)
Marina Spada for As the Shadow (Italy) and Hong Sang-soo for Woman On The Beach (South Korea)

Silver Astor for best actress
Sandra Hueller for Madonnas (Germany)

Silver Astor for best actor
Carlos Resta for La Peli (Argentina)

Silver Astor for best screenplay
Zaza Rusadze and Dito Tsintsadze for The Man From The Embassy (Germany/Georgia)

Special Mention
The Greatest Love in the World, by Carlos Diegues (Brazil)

Ernesto Che Guevara Award for the best film at the Latin American competition
M, by Nicolas Prividera (Argentina)

Special mentions
Suely In The Sky, by Karim Aïnouz (Brazil)
Red Land, by Ramiro Gomez (Paraguay)

M, by Nicolas Prividera (Argentina)

FIPRESCI Award for best Latin American film of 2006
Suely In The Sky

Cinecolor Audience Award
Ciudad En Celo, by Hernan Gaffet (Argentina)

Signis Award

791 Prize for artistic innovation
It Happened Just Before, by Anja Salomonowitz (Austria)