Marie-Jaoui de Poncheville's Kyrgyzstan-set drama Tengri - Blue Heavens was named best film and Poncheville was named best director at the inaugural Women's International Film & Television Showcase (The WIFTS) in Los Angeles.

The event was created to bring together woman from all walks of life through the art of film. The first jury, chaired by veteran actress Nancy Kwan, also gave the best actress award to Aissa Maiga for Italian film Bianco E Nero directed by Cristina Comencini and the diversity award to Sima Urale's Apron Strings from New Zealand.

Nine films played in competition. Other winners were Cecilia Zanuso, who won the best editor award for Bianco E Nero and Lana Parshina's documentary Svetlana About Svetlana received a special jury mention.

Other jury members included Marc Halperin of Magic Lamp Distributing, producer-director Philippe Mora and Screen's Mike Goodridge.

The WIFTS, which is executive produced by Elspeth Tavares, gave several honours at its closing night gala on Dec 7. They included producer Gale Ann Hurd, Oscar-nominated costume designer Sharen Davis, screenwriter Nancy Oliver and cinematographer Amy Vincent.