Sandrine Bonnaire wins best director.

Miroslav Momsilovic’s Death of a Man in the Balkans, a Serbian-produced black comedy, received the best film award at the 25th Panorama of European Cinema Festival which wrapped in Athens today.

The French actress turned director Sandrine Bonnaire was named best director for Furious over his absence (J’enrage a son absence), dealing with  the feeling of loss the death of a family member.

Late Chilean director Raoul Ruiz’s last film The Night Opposite (La noche de enfrente), the tale of  man, close to retirement, who recalls his past, was the recipient of the best artistic achievement award.  

A special jury award was given to the Greek director Vassilis Mozomenos’ 10th Day, about the life of an Afghan refugee living in contemporary crisis-ridden Greece.

The awards were presented by the chairman of the jury, Greek film-maker Menelaos Karamangiolis while the Fipresci Jury (Carmen Gray, Esin Kucuktepepinar, Nestoras Poulakos) award as well as the audience award went to Turkey’s Night Of Silence (Lal Gece) directed by Reis Celik.

The festival, steered by artistic director-film critic Ninos Fenek Mikelides, opened with the out of competition presentation of Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law and screened 90-plus films in 10 different sections.

Apart from the 11-film competition, programmes included those dedicated to the Turkish and the contemporary Cypriot cinemas, the Greek directors living and working abroad, as well a selection of films dealing with Neo-Nazism in cinema, a timely topic in a country like Greece with its extreme right movement.

Also widely attended were  the homage to the late Greek master Theo Angelopoulos, who died earlier this year in a road accident while shooting his new film, as well as a programme dedicated to the 60 years of the iconic French cinema monthly Positif with its chief editor, the eminent film critic Michel Ciment, making the trip to Athens to chair a roundtable about film criticism.

Backed by such institutions as the Greek Cinematheque, the French Institute, the European Union and the European Film Academy the festival wrapped with the screening of Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy starring Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey.