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Muslim Father-European Son Road Movie Tops Mar del Plata Festival + Tiburon Winners

Mar del Plata Film Festival winnerMar del Plata Film Festival winner 'Le Grand Voyage,' with Mohamed Majd and Nicolas Cazalé.

Muslim father-'Europeanized' son drama is Best Film at 2005 Mar del Plata Film Festival

On March 20, the French-Moroccan clash of cultures and father-son love drama Le Grand Voyage (“The Long Journey”) was awarded the Golden Astor (Astor de Oro) for Best Film at the 2005 Mar del Plata International Film Festival. (Scroll down for the list of this year's Mar del Plata Film Festival winners.)

From March 10-20, more than 300 films were shown at cinemas in the Argentinian beach resort, located approximately 400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires.

Directed by Moroccan-born (but French-raised) Ismaël Ferroukhi, the road movie Le Grand Voyage follows the France-to-Mecca pilgrimage of a young, carefree Frenchman (Nicolas Cazalé) and his stern, devoutly Muslim Moroccan father, played by Best Actor Silver Astor (Astor de Plata) winner Mohamed Majd.

Laura Linney among Mar del Plata winners

Among this year's other Mar del Plata Film Festival winners were Best Director Yasmine Kassari, for the Belgian-Moroccan The Sleeping Child; and Emmanuelle Devos (Gilles' Wife) and Laura Linney (P.S.), who shared the Best Actress Silver Astor.

Bernd Eichinger won the Best Screenplay Award for the German box office hit Downfall, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. (See also: “'Downfall' Film Humanizes Der Führer?”)

The award for Best Ibero-American Film went to Brazilian director Lúcia Murat's Almost Two Brothers, about the unusual friendship between a Rio de Janeiro politician and a drug dealer.

The 2005 Mar del Plata festival's Special Jury Prize went to the Iranian comedy-drama Bitter Dream, directed by Mohsen Amiryoussefi.

Argentinian films came away empty handed.

2005 Mar del Palta Film Festival winners

Golden Astor for Best Film: Le Grand Voyage (France / Morocco). Directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi.

Best Director: Yasmine Kassari (The Sleeping Child / L'Enfant endormi, Belgium / Morocco).

Best Actor: Mohamed Majd (Le Grand Voyage).

Best Actress (tie): Emmanuelle Devos (Gilles' Wife / La femme de Gilles, France / Belgium / Luxembourg / Italy / Switzerland) and Laura Linney (P.S., U.S.).

Best Screenplay: Bernd Eichinger (Downfall / Der Untergang, Germany / Austria / Italy).

Best Ibero-American Film: Almost Two Brothers / Quase Dois Irmãos (Brazil). Directed by Lúcia Murat.

Special Jury Prize: Bitter Dream / Khab-e talkh (Iran). Directed by Mohsen Amiryoussefi.

Mar del Plata Film Festival website.

Image of Mohamed Majd and Nicolas Cazalé in Le Grand Voyage: Mar del Plata Film Festival.

Zero de Conduite'Zéro de conduite.'

Beijing hosts major French film retrospective

“The biggest French film festival of this century,” according to China Daily, began last Friday in Beijing. “A Retrospective of French Movies: From Classic to Modern,” organized by Chinese and French film archives, will screen 41 movies encompassing more than a century of French filmmaking—from 1895 to 2003.

Among the selected films are:

  • Auguste and Louis Lumière shorts films.
  • Jean Vigo's Zero for Conduct / Zéro de conduite (1933).
  • Claude Berri's Tchao Pantin (1983) and Jean de Florette (1986).
  • Agnès Varda's Vagabond / Sans toit ni loi (1985) and The Gleaners & I / Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (2000).

Zéro de conduite image: Franfilmdis.

Rome Film Festival to rival Cannes, Venice?

If – and that's a big if – all goes as planned, Rome may end up rivaling Cannes, Berlin, and Venice as Europe's most important international film event.

Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni has met with top names in the Italian film industry and is reportedly hoping to get 6 million euros to set up a film festival in the Italian capital. Former FilmItalia president Giorgio Gosetti, currently in charge of the Venice sidebar “Venice Days,” and Locarno Film Festival director Irene Bignardi have been named as potential candidates for the role of festival director.

Tiburon Film Festival winners

Tiburon Film Festival: March 1117, 2005. 

Best Film: Nitschewo / Nothing by Stefan Sarazin (Germany)

Best Documentary: The Forest for the Trees (US)

Best Director: David Grieco for Evilenko (Italy)

Best Screenplay: Mike Bencivenga & Richard Levine for Happy Hour (US)

Best Cinematography: Jefferey Seckendorf for Finding Home (US)

Best Short Film: Shift by Peter Keller (Germany)

Best Experimental Film: Notes from the Space Time Continium (Canada)

Best New Talent: Nicholas Robbins for Anathema (US)

Best Animation: The Man Without a Head by Juan Solanas (France)

Best Student Film: Freedom from Despair by Brenda Brkusic (USA/Croatia)

Best Sports Film: Never Been Done by Matt Powers (US)

Best Musical: Dame la mano by Heddy Honigmann (France/Cuba)

Best Childrens Film: Fern Hill by Cole Claassen (US) & Yoshinos Barbershop by Naoko Ogigami (Japan)

Best Comedy: Call Waiting by Jodi Binstock (US)

Humanitarian Award: Peace One Day by Jeremy Gilley (UK)

Orson Welles Award: Victoria para Chino by Cary Fukunaga (US)

Federico Fellini Award: 2+1 by Philippe Safir (France)

Audience Award: Cuba Libre by Juan Gerard (Dominican Republic)

Best Music Video: Kicking the Heart Out by Ryan Kurt Whiting (US)

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