Goran Markovic's intense drama Kordon from Serbia/Montenegro won the top prize- the Grand prix des Ameriques - at the Montreal World Film Festival on Sundaynight. Set in Belgrade in 1997, the film follows a police patrol on its roundsaround the city which is swept up in a sea of unrest and public demonstrationsagainst Slobodan Milosevic.
Louis Belanger's popular Quebecois family drama Gaz Bar Blues, which was the opening night film atMontreal this year, won the special jury prize, while Antonio Mercero'shospital set tragicomedy Planta 4a from Spain won the prize for best director.
The seven-person jurypresided over by film-makers Andrzej Zulawski and Jan Troell also gave NicolaeMargineau's Romanian prison saga Bless This Prison the prize for best artistic contribution.
Marina Glezer was voted best actress for playing a teenageprostitute in the Argentinia/Spain co-production El Polaquito, while popular Italian actor SilvioOrlando was votes best actor for playing a man made redundant by a US tyrefactory in Ricardo Milani's Il Posto Dell'Anima.
Best screenplay went to The Professional, also from Serbia/Montenegro by DusanKovacevic.
Meanwhile in an ironic nod, the jury named 77 year-old Italianveteran Fabio Carpi the prize for innovation for his latest opus LeIntermittenze Del Cuore.
The jury gave its top prize for short film to Patrick Bossard's VieEt Mort D'Un Instant D'Ennui from France and a jury prize to Michael Bergmann's In Bed WithMy Books from the US.
A jury headed by Iran's Samira Makhmalbaf named Genevieve Mersch'sLuxembourg-Belgium co-production I Always Wanted To Be A Saint the best first film prize "for theprecision of her style and the subtlety of the emotions."
The jury also made special mention of Leslie Shearing's US film DogsIn The Basement andBenjamin Ratner's Canadian comedy Moving Malcolm.
Audience prizes were won by Josef Fares' Kopps (Sweden) for best European film, TrentCarlson's The Delicate Art Of Parking for best Canadian film, Mark Rucker's Die Mommie Die for best US film, Eduardo Mignogna's Cleopatra(Argentina) for bestLatin American film, Yoichi Higashi's Watashi No Gurampa (Japan) for best Asian film, Rolf deHeer's Alexandra's Project (Australia) for best film from Oceania, Nawfel Saheb-Ettaba's ElKotbia(Tunisia/France/Morocco) and Abdelkrim Bahloul's Le Soleil Assassine (France/Algeria) tied for best African filmand Richard Boutet's Sexe De Rue (Canada) as best documentary.
The Air Canada public prizes went to Planta 4a (first) and Gaz Bar Blues (second).
The Professional and Vie Et Mort... also won the FIPRESCI international critics' prizes in long andshort categories respectively, while Gaz Bar Blues won the ecumenical jury prize with aspecial mention going to Bless This Prison.
During the film festival, actor Erland Josephson, producer DeniseRobert and director Martin Scorsese had won special prizes for the "exceptional contribution tothe art of cinema."