Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Import/Export was named best film at the 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok on Saturday night.

Best director was awarded to Semih Kaplanoglu for Egg, which recently swept the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey.

Nina Menkes' Phantom Love bagged best artistic achievement with US producer Kevin Ragsdale onstage to receive the award.

Also on hand was Taiwanese director-actor Lee Kang-sheng whose Help Me Eros shared the special jury prize with The Band's Visit by Erin Kolirin.

This year, the event pumped up its marketing campaign through media partners Modern Nine TV and Nation Channel while the 12-screen Esplanade Cineplex, opened last December by Major Cineplex in west Bangkok, provided the venue for the first time.

'There's always a risk of using a new venue. But it's important we have gained newcomers from the audience which is essential to the future growth of the festival,' said festival director Kriengsak 'Victor' Silakong. Cinema attendance was around 20,000 as with last year.

More Q&A sessions were held this year with Sylvia Chang, Royston Tan, Kim Tai-sik, Martijn Van Broekhuizen, Shinichiro Sawai (whose The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea was the opening film) and Fred Kelemen (who was also on the jury) in attendance.

'We offer an intimate, cosy festival which introduces foreign films to the local audience. This is not an industry festival - the Bangkok one which has a market is an entirely different setup,' said Kriengsak who was also hired to programme the Bangkok International Film Festival backed by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT is also a sponsor for the World Film Festival of Bangkok which has the Nation Multimedia group as the main sponsor.

Thailand has had a packed festival calendar since July's Bangkok festival. The inaugural Phuket Film Festival ended on October 27 with Julie Taymor's Across The Universe.