Egyptian filmmaker MarwanHamed's The Yacoubian Building (OmaretYacoubian) won the Golden Eye Awardin the Best Debut category at this year's Zurich Film Festival, which ended onSunday.

The International Jury,headed by veteran US producer EdwardR. Pressman, noted its appreciation of the film's approach of'using classic melodrama to discuss issues and conflicts in Egyptiansociety not openly discussed. We applaud this courageous effort to solveproblems through the medium of film, not bombs.'

The Golden Eye for Best NewFiction Film went to John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus which was described by the jury as 'a tender andhumorous blueprint for how humanity can work in contemporary Westernsociety', while the prize for Best New Documentary was picked up by BenLewis for his highly entertaining Hammer& Tickle - The Communist Joke Book.

The festival's closing galaalso saw the presentation of a lifetime achievement Golden Eye Award to the UK director Stephen Frears who was the subject of aseven-film tribute this year. During his stay in Zurich, Frears had joined with producer Jan Harlan anddocumentary filmmaker Christian Frei to give a two-day masterclass forup-and-coming Swiss directors, screenwriters, producers and actors.