Latin America's only A grade film festival, Mar del Plata inArgentina, wrapped on Saturday (March 20) with the prize for best film, theGolden Astor, going to a local picture, Buena Vida Delivery.
Leonardo Di Cesare's directorial debut, which received backingfrom the Argentinian film institute (INCAA), Film Sud in France and the HubertBals Fund, is a gentle comedy-drama about a kind-hearted young man who falls inlove with moody but beautiful woman.
After she moves in with him, her mother, father and daughtersuddenly turn up on his doorstep asking to stay for the night. He soon learnsthat they are homeless and penniless and have no intention of leaving.
The award for best director went to Hungarian BenedekFliegauf for Dealer, which hadpreviously screened in Berlin's Forum section and had picked up the BerlinerZeitung Readers' Prize there. The film also won a number of the unofficialawards in Mar del Plata (see below).
Best actress honours went to Nicoletta Braschi, for her rolein Italian film I Like To Work (Mobbing) (Mi Piace Lavorare (Mobbing)), which had also screened in Berlin, where it won theEcumenical jury prize for the best film in the Panorama section.
Luis Tosar, star of The Carpenter's Pencil (El Lapiz DelCarpintero) (Spain-Portugal-UK), shared thebest actor's prize with Alejandro Urdapilleta, who stars in GoodbyeDear Moon (Adios, Querida Luna)(Argentina). Tosar won a Goya last month for his role in Iciar Bollain'sdomestic abuse drama Take My Eyesand appeared in Berlin competition entry Your Next Life (La Vida QueTe Espera). Fernando Spiner's GoodbyeDear Moon is a wacky comedy, adapted from astage play, that works partly as a satire about the Falklands War. Argentinasends a space ship to destroy the moon and is surprised when the moon fightsback.
Other awards went to:
Best screenplay - Leonardo Di Cesare and Hans Garrino, BuenaVida Delivery (Argentina-France)
Best Ibero-American film - The Other Side Of The Street (O Outro LadoDa Rua) (Brazil-France), directed by MarcosBernstein
Special jury prize - I Like To Work - Mobbing (Mi Piace Lavorare -Mobbing) (Italy), directed by FrancescaComencini
Special mention: Dealer (Hungary),directed by Benedek Fliegauf, due to 'the excellence of its images andsoundtrack'
Special mention: Touching The Void,directed by Kevin Macdonald (UK), for 'the dramatic intensity with which thedirector has reconstructed a real story'
Short film - Jamie Palmer's Paul's Lucky Day (UK)
The official jury consisted of Maria de Medeiros, Domingosde Oliveira, Don Ranvaud, Ricardo Aronovich, Angeles Gonzales-Sinde, ErnestoPerez and Ana Maria Picchio.
The non-official awards were:
Audience award - The Carpenter's Pencil (El Lapiz DelCarpintero) (Spain-Portugal-UK).
Best film in the Women And Film section - Sabiha Sumar's SilentWaters (Khamosh Pani)(Pakistan-Germany-France).
Special mention for films in the Women And Film section - Marina De Van's InMy Skin (Dans Ma Peau) (France).
The Women And Film jury consisted of Susan Seidelman, Catherine Corsini andJuan Bautista Stagnaro.
Best cinematography - Dealer (Hungary),directed by Benedek Fliegauf.
The international critics' body, FIPRESCI, award for best film in competition -Benedek Fliegauf's Dealer (Hungary).The jury members were Jorge Morales, Pablo Suarez and Dennis West.
Award from the Catholic body, Signis, for best film - Hilmar Oddsson's ColdLight (Kaldaljos)(Iceland-UK-Norway-Germany). Jury members were Gustavo Andujar Robles, MariaLuengo de la Torre, Eduardo Mignogna, Duilio Marzio and Monica Satarain.
The Argentinian film critics' association (ACCA) award for best film incompetition - Benedek Fliegauf's Dealer (Hungary). Jury members were Guillermo Alamo, Cesar Maranghello,Agustin Neifert, Jose Maria Poirier and Roberto Quirno.
The prize awarded by the Argentinian film trade union, SICA, for the best filmin the Latin American section - Guillermo Casanova's El Viaje HaciaEl Mar (Uruguay). Jury members were AliciaEsther Macchi, Aldo Guglielmone and Carlos Garcia.
The best film in the Argentinian films section, La Mirada Interior -Hogares, directed by Juan Ojuez and specialmention went to Empujando El Carro,directed by Nestor Vallejo. El Hombre Contrapicado, directed by Juan Riggirossi, and Alfabetizacion,directed by Martin Ferrari also received a mention.