Bahman Ghobadiás Iraqi-Kurdistan set drama Turtles Can Fly scooped the Golden Shell award for best film at the closing ceremonyof the San Sebastian International Film Festival on Saturday (Sept 25).
The jury, headed by Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa gaveits Silver Shell best director prize to Xu Jinglei for Chinese love story Letter From An Unknown Woman, which she also starred in, and its screenplay awardto Omagh, written by Guy Hibbertand Paul Greengrass.
Susanne Bierás Brothers scooped two Silver Shell acting awards at thetelevised ceremony -- for stars Ulrich Thomsen and Connie Nielsen -- while DoPMarcel Zyskind was given the best photography prize for MichaelWinterbottom's controversial Nine Songs. Goran Paskaljevicás Serbia-set family drama SanZimske Noci was given a special juryprize for evoking 'the tragic consequences of a civil conflict'.
French film-maker LucileHadzihalilovic picked up the Euros 90,000 Altadis New Directors Award for Innocence, a beguiling film about a strange boarding schoolwhich had been a topic of discussion among attendees at the festival.
In other prizes,Chile's Leon Errazuriz picked up the Euros 18,000 Horizontes Award for MalaLeche, while the FIPRESCI jury prizewas given to Carlos Sorin's well-liked Bombon, El Perro. The ARTE award, which carries a prize of Euros92,000 was given to Maria Victoria Menis' El Cielito, a picture about family violence in rural Argentina.The Mont Blanc award for best screenplay went to Fanta Regina Nacro for LaNuit De La Verite, a film about afictional African country coming to terms with a civil war.
The technical award for FilmsIn Progress went to Tristan Bauer's Enlightened By Fire, a prize that carries with it all services andmaterials necessary to complete the film.
The star quotient was highthroughout the festival, with Woody Allen, Jeff Bridges, Annette Bening, PedroAlmodovar, Oliver Stone, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Huston, John Sayles and M NightShyamalan all visiting the Spanish coastal town.
The 52nd edition of thefestival had a strong political element across its line-up, with pertinentofficial selection entries like John Sayles' Silver City, Pete Travis' Omagh, and FrancoisDupeyronás Inguelezi.Documentaries included Patricio Guzmanás Salvador Allende and Oliver Stone`s Looking For Fidel.
Festival chief MikelOlaciregui told ScreenDaily.comthat the festival hadn't necessarily set out to present a politicallycharged line-up. 'When we watch a movie to be selected we look at itagainst all the other movies. The political movies were some of the best in theperiod.'
Local deals withprize-winners that were closed during the festival included Alta Films pickingup Turtles Can Fly and BartonFilms taking all Spanish rights to Letter From An Unknown Woman.
Visitor numbers stood at around 3,000: 1,200 were mediaguests, and the rest industry.
On Friday, Carmen Caffarel,the new chief of Spanish public broadcaster Television Espanola (TVE),announced that TVE would once again co-sponsor the festival after a ten-yearabsence.