Russian cinema was the big winner for the second year running at the FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema (November 11-16) taking home six of the 12 awards presented at the weekend.

The International Jury, which included the Israel Film Fund's Katriel Schory, Oscar-winning set designer Allan Starski, and Kosovo-born actress Arta Dobroshi, gave their Main Prize for Best Film to Alexey Uchitel's Captive (Plennyj) which also received the Dialogue Prize for Intercultural Communication.

In addition, Gabriele Brunnenmeyer, artistic director of the festival's sister event, the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus, presented Captive producer Kira Saksaganskaya with the Coco Special Pitch Award which gives Uchitel the automatic right to pitch a new project at the co-production meeting next year.

The jury's Special Prize for Best Director went to Sergei Dvorzevoy for Tulpan which also picked up a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury, while Georgian-born Mikhail Kalatozishvili's Wild Field (Dikoje Polje) received the FIPRESCI and Ecumenical Jury prizes as well as a special mention from the International Jury.

The sixth prize for a Russian film - the Prize for Best Debut Film - went to theatre director Vladimir Kott's film debut Mukha (Mucha) which had won the Golden Goblet for Best Feature Film in Shanghai this year.

Other prizes included the Special Prize for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution to Poland's Michal Rosa for the screenplay to Scratch (Rysa), the Cottbus Discovery Award for Estonian Andri Luup (Kinnunen) and the Don Quixote Prize to Delta by Hungary's Kornel Mundruczo.

Meanwhile, another Czech film - Bohdan Slama's Country Teacher (Vencovsky Ucitel) - was attracting the most votes for the Audience Award after Jan Sverak's Empties won last year.

At the parallel Connecting Cottbus co-production market which was attended by over 140 film industry professionals, around 120 one-to-one meetings were organised for the 14 projects from 13 countries.

The participants voted for the Romanian producer-director team of Tudor Giurgiu and Dan Chisu to receive the Best Pitch Award for their black comedy The Bear which may be co-produced with the Serbian production house Art & Popcorn.

Giurgiu's Libra Film had wrapped production this weekend on location in Romania on French actress Fanny Ardant's directorial debut Ashes And Blood, and is co-producing Titus Muntean's Kino Caravan with Germany's Filmkombinat Ost.

At the market, Romania's Catalin Leescu of Carter Films announced that he will serve as a co-producer on Violeta Gorgos' family drama Before And After set against the background of the 1992 war between Moldova and Transdnestria, while Finnish and UK producers expressed interest in being involved in Nikola Lezaic's Serbian teen-drama Tilva Rosh by Belgrade-based Kiselo Dete Film House.