Bob Odenkirk's MelvinGoes to Dinner was named BestAmerican Feature and Christophe Ruggia's Les Diables (The Devils) Best French Feature at the 9th Avignon/New York Film Festival, whichended yesterday with an awards gala at (Apr 13) at New York University's Cantor Film Centre.

The week-long festivalfeatured eight American and nine French features in addition to 26 short filmsfrom both countries.

In the two other 21stCentury Filmmaker Awards, Markus Griesshammer won Best American Short Film for CoyoteBeach and Philippe Orreindy wasawarded Best French Short Film for J'Attendrai Le Suivant (I'llWait For The Next One).

In comedy-drama MelvinGoes To Dinner, a Grand Jury Prizenominee at Slamdance earlier this year, four people convene for an esoteric dinnerparty conversation.

Ruggia's road movie LesDiables concerns a 12-year-old boyand his autistic sister in search of adulthood. The film has already wonseveral awards including the Chicago International Film Festival's GoldenPlaque.

In other awards, Le PrixValerie for an outstanding woman in independent film went to producer SandraSchulberg (Shadow Magic, Quills);a special Roger statuette for artistic accomplishment went to composer SashaGordon for her original score on William Wellman's Wings (1927); and Robert Chapell won the Kodak VisionAward for Best Cinematography for the short film The Quality of Mercy.