Karma films gets cash prize towards distribution; The Snows of Kilimanjaro takes second prize.

Belgian director Geoffrey Enthoven’s Hasta La Vista has won the top prize, Espiga de Oro, at the Valladolid Film Festival (Oct 22-29) . The fifth feature by the director tells the story of three disabled youngsters who travel to Spain in order to lose their virginity and is a mixture of drama and comedy.

Produced by Fobic Films, it was acquired a few days ago by Karma Films for its distribution in Spain. It has already been succesfully released in Belgium and Holland and will open in France in February. The Spiga de Oro is worth $70,730 USD (Euros 50,000) that goes to the distributor.  
The festival’s second Top Prize, Espiga de Plata, went to critics favourite The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Robert Guéguidian.

Other prizes were for Agnieszka Holland as best director for In Darkness; Patrick Huard (Starbuck) and Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) as best actors; Zhou Dongyu (Under the Hawthorne Tree) as best actress; Philippe Falardeu for best screenplay with Monsieur Lazhar; and Circumstance won the Jury Special Prize.

The Pilar Miró award for the best debut was for Spanish title De tu ventana a la mía by Paula Ortiz.

The Festival, which was in its 56th edition, also gave honorary prizes to actress Maribel Verdú and Enrique González Macho, head of distribution and production company Alta Films, and also the current President of the Spanish Academy of Cinema.
With a reduced budget due to the financial crisis and loss of sponsors, the festival had fewer visitors and events than in past years. The director of the Festival, Javier Angulo, has work ahead to keep the Festival as the second most important in Spain.

Some of the buzziest titles of the festival were Starbuck, The Snows of Kilamanjaro, The Kid With a Bike and Medianeras; comedies such as The Guard and Hasta La Vista were more dominant than the social dramas of past years.

Sweden was the guest country this year, with more than 16 Swedish features screened, plus a number of short films and documentaries. More than 20 Swedish producers, sales agents, directors and actors attended.