Audiences favoured home-grown films at this year's Melbourne Film Festival (July 19-August 6). My Mother Frank, directed by Sydney-based Mark Lamprell, scooped the Stella Artois Award for most popular film, while Melbourne director Paul Cox scored second and third spot with Innocence and Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien.

A week earlier it was announced that My Mother Frank, which opened in Australia yesterday (August 17), was also voted best film by Brisbane festival audiences.

The other Melbourne place getters, in order, were Majid Majidi's The Colour Of Paradise (Iran), Nigel Cole's Saving Grace (UK), Zhang Yang's Shower, Stephen Frears' High Fidelity (US), Benito Zambrano's Alone (Spain), Gurinder Chadha's What's Cooking (US-UK) and Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys (US) which opened the event.

Box office takings were 40% higher than in the previous year in what is director Sandra Sdraulig's last festival. A successor has yet to be named.