Karen Moncrieff's The Dead Girl has taken the grand prize at The Deauville Festival of American Film.
The jury prize at theNormandy eventwent to Gina Kim's Never Forever.
Both directors delivered emotional acceptance speeches with Kim noting that she had suffered a period of self doubt following Never Forever 's unveiling in Sundance earlier this year.
The film had immediately been picked up for French distribution, she explained, had failed immediately to attract a US buyer. To add to the festival joy, the film has now found a domestic distributor at Toronto - a co-deal between Arts Alliance America and Prime Entertainment.
Joining Kim on the stage was the film's lead actress Vera Farmiga who noted that she was grateful to the festival for having enabled her to be cast by Kim - Farmiga's breakthrough role came in 2004's Down To The Bone which had been in competition in Deauville.
Moncrieff, meanwhile, echoed jury president Andre Techine's speech when she said that films shouldn't be considered enemies just because they compete against each other for prizes.
Speaking to her film's subject matter, that of violence against women, she also remarked on the death of director and actress Adrienne Shelly who was murdered earlier this year. Shelly's film Waitress was also in the competition and found many fans at the festival.
In years past, the Deauville awards have often been harbingers of Oscar glory to come. That may still be true for some of the winners, but Moncrieff's The Dead Girl was released in the US in late 2006 making it ineligible for this year's Academy Awards.
The Cartier Revelation prize went to Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science which won the directing prize in Sundance while the International Critics Jury gave its award to James C. Strouse's Grace Is Gone .
That film, in which John Cusack stars as a man whose wife is killed in combat in Iraq, was one of the more talked about throughout the 10 day festival with many remarking that they had never seen a Deauville audience so emotionally moved.
Finally, French pay TV Canal Plus gave its award to the documentary The War by Ken Burns.
As previously announced, the Michel d'Ornano prize for best first film went to Marc Fitoussi for La Vie D'Artiste . Fitoussi and members of the d'Ornano prize jury were treated earlier in the day to a lavish lunch at the home of Anne d'Ornano who is the widow of the man for whom the prize is named - both husband and wife are former mayors of Deauville.
The lunch was primarily notable, however, for the absence of former MPAA president - and Deauville fixture - Jack Valenti.
Valenti and the d'Ornanos were famous friends who often celebrated his September 5th birthday during the festival.
Indeed, in a story he later echoed onstage upon presenting the Michel d'Ornano prize, the MPA's Chris Marcich told fellow lunch attendees that the last time he had seen Valenti, who died in April, had been to discuss plans for this Deauville festival and the European launch of his autobiography This Time, This Place .