Georgian-born Bakur Bakuradze's Shultes won the Grand Prix for Best Film at this year's Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi.

Bakuradze's feature debut about an ordinary man living with his old mother in a big city had its world premiere in Cannes ' Directors Fortnight last month and is distributed internationally by Raissa Fomina's Intercinema.

It is being released theatrically in Russia by Nashe Kino.

Theawards were presented at a ceremony before the Russian premiere of Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones concert film Shine A Light.

The jury under film-maker Pavel Chukhrai awarded the prizes for best director to Alexander Proshkin for the festival's opening film Live And Remember, while Mikhail Kalatozishvili's Wild Field picked up the honours for Best Script and and Best Incidental Music as well as the Russian Guild of Film Critics Prize for Best Film.

Wild Field, which was produced by the Mikhail Kalatozov Fund and Studio Barmalei, is also being handled internationally by Intercinema and could be having its international premiere at the forthcoming Venice Film Festival.

Meanwhile, the Best Actor award went to the UK actor Jethro Skinner for his performance in Oksana Bychkova's second feature +1 - which is screening in competition in Shanghai this week.

The Best Actress prize was taken by Ksenia Rappoport for her role in Kirill Serebrennikov's Yuri's Day, and Best Debut went to Igor Voloshin for Nirvana which had its world premiere in the Berlinale Forum in February.

Two awards went to Alexander Melnik's impressive $12m feature debut Terra Nova, starring The Return's Konstantin Lavronenko, which received the award in the new prize category of Best Cinematographer for Ilya Demin and a Special Jury Diploma for the best commercial project to producer Anton Melnik.

Speaking at the end of the ceremony, jury president Pavel Chukhrai expressed his satisfaction that a new generation of film-makers was appearing on the scene in Russia - half of the competition lineup was by feature debutants.

Hemade a request for future editions of Kinotavr that a new prize category be introduced for best supporting roles since the jury had had a hard time making a decision of the acting prizes when faced with so much talent to choose from.

Foreign guests attending this year's festival suggested that at least half a dozen of this year's competition line-up - such as Kirill Serebrennikov's Yuri's Day, Guka Omarova's Baksy (Native Dancer), and Michael Kalatozishvili's Wild Field - had good chances of traveling the international festival circuit over the next 12 months.

However, Kinotavr's artistic director Sitora Alieva regretted the fact that 'there was the practically complete lack of a qualitative mainstream worthy of inclusion in the competition. This year, we were faced with the huge temptation and the real opportunity to make an arthouse-only programme.'

'However, the task of the main national festival is to show all genres and styles of film production,' she argued. 'Unfortunately, there are not enough interesting films [for a wide audience] and, in order to find them, one has to search through tons of dead rock.'

She added that many of the films rejected for the competition 'have no relation to the art of even the craft of filmmaking, copying templates and schemes of primitive television films.'

At this year's Producers Pitching event, the jury of producers Igor Tolstunov, Ruben Dishdishian and Sergei Selianov selected Elena Yatsura's presentation of Petr Tochilin's $ 10m sci-fi drama The Dark Side Of The Moon as the best of the seven pitches.

Yatsura, whose production credits include 4, Honey Baby and The Last Train, revealed that production on the film will run from November 2008 to April 2010.

In addition, Roman Borisevich, who produced Boris Khlebnikov's Free Floating and Alexei Popogrebsky's Simple Things, revealed that principal photography on Popogrebsky's new $ 2.5m project How I Spent The Summer will begin in July in a polar weather station on Chukotka at the north-easternmost tip of Russia.

The two-hander, which will feature Sergei Puskepalis, who won the Best Actor award in Sochi last year for his role in Simple Things, will be released in Russia by Central Partnership.

Another project which left a good impression on the jury and audience was the omnibus film Tetris by Berlinale Talent Campus graduate Dmitriy Pischulin and Dmitriy Okhotnikov, which will combine the genres of comedy, melodrama, thriller and drama.

This year's foreign guests at Kinotavr included representatives of the UK's ICA, France 's Rezo Films, Germany 's Rohfilm, Serbia 's B2B co-production market as well as festival selectors from Cannes, Venice, Rome, Karlovy Vary, Cottbus, Wiesbaden and Belgrade.