Just days after winning theGolden Shell for Best Picture at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Czech-Germanco-production Something Like Hapiness (Sesti) directed by Bodhan Slamawas named best film at the 11th Athens International Film Festival-Opening Nights.
The Golden Athena awardcarrying together a Euros 5,000 purse was received by the leading actress ofthe film, Anna Geisrelova.
An 11 member jury made up of18 to 25 year-old cinephiles from EU member countries screened 16 titles incompetition. The Best Director award went to the Russian Ilya Khrzhanovsky forhis debut feature 4.
The Best Screenplay awardwent to Aku Luhimies who co-wrote and directedthe Finnish entry Frozen Land (Paha Maa).
The Greek entry Awakeningby Niko Grammatikos was the surprise winner of the Audience Award which comeswith a Euros 6,000 purse.
Among the highlights of thefestival was the presence of Daniel Day Lewis, Kim Ki Duk and Costa Gavras whowere honored with Golden Athenas for their career and contribution to film. TheGolden Athena was presented to Kim Ki Duk by Theo Angelopoulos. Other guestsincluded the UK director Sally Potter, animators Stephen and Timothy Quayhonored with a full retrospective and French actor Melvil Poupaud.
The main retrospective wasdedicated to the French master Jean Renoir (1894-1979). Attendancefor the eleven day event rose to 45,000 admissions.