Afghan feature Osama, by director Siddiq Barmakhas won the best feature film award and the best director prize at theCape Town World Cinema Festival.

The film beat off 19 features in competition, includingan impressive showing of eleven South African features, most by first-timedirectors.

The story of a girl who has to dress like a boy to escapepersecution under Taliban rule, Osama was commended by jurors as a"beautiful human story with a universal reach."

Meanwhile, Forgiveness, a South African storyabout a killer on a quest for absolution, was named Best African Feature.

Moshidi Motshegwa won best actress prize for Drum, whileGael Garcia Bernal took the best actor award for his role in Pedro Almodoavar'sBad Education.

South African actor Jamie Bartlett was also singled outby the jury for his handling of a tough,amnesty-seeking ex-cop in Red Dust and Leleti Khumalo won an specialjury award for her performance in Darrell Roodt's Yesterday.

At this year's parallel Sithengi Film and Television Market,Vincent Moloi won the Best Documentary Film project, presented by the HubertBals foundation, for his work-in progress, Men Of Gold And A Pair Of BootsAnd A Bicycle. Two Zimbabwean women, Jacki Cahi and Rumbi Katedza won theGoteborg bursary to develop their feature film, Playing Warriors.