The mainaward of this year's Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival went to Tuningby Slovenia's Igor Sterk.
Theinternational jury, including Istituto Luce's Claudia Bedogni, Swiss Films'Micha Schiwow and Austrian producer Veit Heiduschka praised the film's"precise use of film language."
The juryawarded the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize to Perry Ogden's Pavee Lackeen,which also received the Ecumenical Jury's Film Prize.
Romanian-Swissco-production Ryna went home with two special juryawards for director Ruxandra Zenide and lead actress Dorotheea Petre as well asa Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury.
TheInternational Juryalso gave Special Mentions to director Ramin Bahranifor his second feature film Man Push Cart and tothe Swedish actress Henna Ohranen for her leading role in Kristina Humle's LoveAnd Happiness.
Turkishfilmmaker Ugur Yucel's feature debut Toss Up won theFIPRESCI critics prize while the audience award was split between the Mannheimaudience choice, Norwegian Arild Ostin Ommundsen's Monsterthursday,and the Heidelbergers pick, GustavoLoza's On The Other Side.
On thebusiness side, Gudula Meinzolt, coordinator of the Mannheim Meetingsco-production market and European Sales and Distribution Meetings, reportedthat more than 600 one-to-one meetings had been organised for 55 projects from33 countries. Meanwhile 70 distributors and TV buyers from 20 Europeancountries held 400 meetings on films in the Sales and Distribution catalogue.
"Wehad a good mixture of experienced and new producers to discuss the potentialfor co-productions, and many of the participants with projects are now lookingat working together," Meinzolt said.
Forexample, Poland's Jarek Kemus of Widark Film & Television is in discussionswith the Georgian production company Studio 99 about their project KeepSmiling by Rusudan Chkonia; and Kenyan producer SonalRadia-Tyagi has received serious interest from a UK producer for her project ExileAnd The Pearl.
Duringthe festival, German distributor Mec Films announced the acquisition ofTbilisi-born Joseph Pitchhadze'sYear Zero (Shnat Effes) which was shown in theInternational Discoveries sidebar, while Andre Bennett's Toronto-based salescompany Cinema Esperanca International picked up international distributionrights for Iranian-American Ramin Bahrani's competition film Man Push Cart.
Lookingahead to the 55th edition in 2006, festival director Michael Koetz toldScreendaily.com that the 10th jubilee edition of the Mannheim Meetings will be expandedafter a restructuring to include a market for the presentation of newscreenplays and film ideas as well as a programme of workshops.