At the 3rd Copenhagen International Children's Film Festival - BUSTER - which ended this weekend, Achero Manas' Spanish The Pellet (El Bola) and Nabil Ayouch's French-Maroccan Ali Zaoua took top honours.

The festival's children's jury, made up of eight 12-13 year-olds awarded the 'best BUSTER film' prize of $6,600 (DKR50,000) to first time director Manas. The Pellet will be released in Denmark by new outfit Marco Film.

The international adult jury of US screenwriter Philip LaZebnik, Danish writer Anker Li and Swedish producer Ingrid Edstrom, awarded the 'BUSTER Grand Prix' of another $6,600 to Ayouch's Casablanca set drama.

The realistic dramas about children forced to take care of themselves under tough conditions beat competition from award-winning Danish films like Morten Kohlert's Little Big Girl, Hans Fabian Wullenweber's Catch That Girl and Tomas Villum Jensen's new family film My Sister's Kids In The Snow (My Sister's Kids 2), which was the festival's closing film and the only local premiere at the event. It is a follow-up to last year's box-office success My Sister's Kids, which won the children's jury prize as best feature in 2001.

The international films in the main competition also included Lars Berg multiple award winning Norwegian Scars as well as Kyung Jung Joo's Korean A Little Monk, Harley Cokeliss' English An Angel For May, and Roland Suso Richter's German A Handful Of Grass.

The festival's documentary jury awarded $1,300 (DKR10,000) to B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro and Carlos Bolado's Promises about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the shortfilm awards of $2,000 (DKR15,000) went to Marten Klingberg's Swedish Viktor And His Brothers from the children's jury, and Nina F. Grunfeld's Norwegian Outside - Looking In from the adult jury.

First indications show that the festival in its first four days attracted more than 10,000 admissions compared to last years 8,000 in seven days.