Italy's RAI TV series The War Is Over (La Guerra E Finita) won five golden awards and one special mention, to wind up as the main victor at this year's FIPA (Festival International de Productions Audiovisuelles) in Biarritz, France.
Other winners includde German drama Mein Vater by Andreas Kleinert, Israeli documentary Purity by Anath Tzuria, Dutch art documentary Four Kings And A Nightingale directed by Wilbert Bank and Aparte by Uruguay's Mario Handler. A Youth Award went to British report on Chechnya, Greetings From Gorzny by Paul Mitchell and Tania Rakhmanova.
Launched 16 years ago in Cannes, with the intention of becoming the television equivalent of the prestigious film festival, the event ended up in Biarritz, where it has been taking place for the last seven years, FIPA is by now the largest audiovisual event in France.
This year there were 43 countries in competition and 57 altogether, including those participating in the FIPATEL, the event's market, which shows only such titles that have been pre-selected by the festival organisation. The repertoire includes every kind of TV production from serials and single dramas, to documentaries, news reports, also art programs and shorts. Among new countries attending FIPA for the first time were Mozambique, Croatia, Chile, Uruguay, Macedonia, Algeria, Egypt, Colombia, Bolivia and Albania.
The closing night was the occasion for actress/director Marie-France Pisier, to step down after six years as the festival's president, to be replaced by French-Algerian Yamina Benguigui, who has already had a number of awards for her films in this and other international events.
Pierre-Henri Deleau, best remembered as the person who lead Cannes' Directors Fortnight for its first 30 years, who is the founder of FIPA, will continue to as its general director it in future, with Jean-Michel Ausseuil as his chief administrator.