Pang Ho Cheung's Isabella from Hong Kong was awarded best film at the 4th World Film Festival of Bangkok onSunday night (October 22).

The jury reached thedecision unanimously for the film's multiple merits which include "the powerfulperformance of both its lead actors, the dynamic direction as well as theimpressive cinematography and art direction".

The best script award wentto Florian Hanig for Seeds Of Doubtwith director Samir Nasr on hand to pick up the award. Gokan Tiryaki took bestcinematography for Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates while the jury prize went to Corneliu Porumboiu's 12.08 East Of Bucharest from Romania.

The jury members includeThai film critic Anchalee Chaiworaporn, Turkish actress Meltum Cumbul, Iraniandirector Tahmineh Milani, Austrian director Titus Leber and Polish posterdesigner Rafal Olblinski.

Chinese director FengXiaogang's The Banquet, which openedthe festival on October 11, took the People's Choice award for being thefestival hit.

Indonesia's In the AbsenceOf The Sun was named the best project at the 2nd Produire au Sud workshopfor South East Asia held in conjunction with the World Film Festival.The winning Indonesian director LuckyKuswandi and producer John Badalu are invited to attend the Festival of the3 Continents in Nantes next month.

With a modest budget of$268,888 (10m baht), funded mainly by The Nation publishing group, the WorldFilm Festival finds itself playing second fiddle to the high-profile,celebrity-loaded Bangkok International Film Festival which also runs a filmmarket.

With a lineup of around 70films this year, World Film Festival head Kriengsak 'Victor' Silakong, saysthis is the right size for the event. "We aim to introduce quality foreignfilms to Thai audiences. The festival has grown in size since the firstedition, but we don't see it grow significantly further given the smallaudience base for foreign films in Bangkok."

The number of attendanceremains around 20,000 this year with a couple of surprise sold-out screeningssuch as documentary Hippie Masala:Forever In India.

Kriengsak concedes that itwill help boost ticket sales if more films come with Thai subtitles, but thelack of funding makes it difficult. Only a handful of films which have beenpicked up for local release are subtitled, such as The Banquet, Isabella, Close To Home, Proposition and The Right OfThe Weakest.

The event will be closedtonight with Russian classic BattleshipPotemkin.