Haim Tabakman’s Eyes Wide Open has won the grand prize for best film at the 36th Ghent International Film Festival.

The jury, led by Swiss composter Niki Reiser, also gave a special mention to Miraz Bezar’s debut feature The Children Of Diyarbakir, which tells the tragic tales of an orphaned brother and sister.  Other members of the jury were actor Filip Peters, Chinese director Quan’an Wang and Laszlo Nemes, the Hungarian director.

Tabakman’s film has a highly controversial theme of a homosexuality in the Orthodox Jewish world. It was praised for its “honest and compelling depiction of a forbidden relationship”.

The prize for best script was handed to Eran Merav for Zion And His Brother, while The George Delerue Prize for best music went to Nathan Larson for A Rational Solution, directed by Jorgen Bergmark.

Meanwhile, the best European short film award was given to Amor by Thomas Wangsmo. It will now be automatically nominated for the European Film Awards, which will be held in December.

The Belgian festival opened on October 6 with a screening of Felix van Groeningen’s The Misfortunates and closes on Saturday (October 17).