Premios en los festivales de Los Angeles, Edimburgo y Moscú (Variety)

"Moon", de Duncan Jones, premiada en Edimburgo

"The Stoning of Soraya M.," directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, has won the audience award for best feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

"Soraya M." depicts the execution of a woman based on a false charge of adultery. The film's based on a true story recounted in the late Freidoune Sahebjam's 1994 book.

The awards announcements were made Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the 11-day festival.

The kudo for performance in the narrative competition went to Shayne Topp for Suzi Yoonessi's "Dear Lemon Lima."

"Soul Power," directed by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, won the aud nod for documentary feature and Eva Norvind's "Born Without (Nacido Sin)" took the audience kudo for international film.

The Target Filmmaker Award went to Sam Fleischner and Ben Chace for "Wah Do Dem" (What They Do), the Target Documentary Award to Juan Carlos Rulfo and Carlos Hagerman for "Los que se quedan" (Those Who Remain).

Target Dream in Color Award was presented to Sam Rubin for "Lipstick"; narrative short film trophy went to Antonio Mendez Esparza's "Time and Again"; documentary short film nod went to Anna Gaskell's "Replayground"; and Jeremy Clapin's "Skhizein" took animated short film.

Audience award for short film went to "Instead of Abracadabra," directed by Patrick Eklund.


EDINBURGH -- The 63rd Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival closed Sunday with "Moon" winning the Michael Powell Award for new British feature and "Easier With Practice" taking the prize for new international feature.

Tomm Moore's Irish animated pic "The Secret of Kells" took the audience award, while Katie Jarvis from "Fish Tank" was honored for performance in a British film.

Cary Joji Fukanaga took the Skillset new directors award for Mexican pic "Sin Nombre," and the Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus Award went to Lynn Shelton's Sundance hit "Humpday."

Despite the global economic meltdown that has hit the city of Edinburgh particularly hard, the festival reported a 3.5% increase in its box office with just a couple of days to go. Fest's closing film was Max Mayer's "Adam."

The number of industry delegates also rose by 4% in the second year of the festival's move to June from its traditional August date.

"Moon," a sci-fi thriller directed by Brit rookie Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell, was arguably the fest's biggest success. Arriving with Internet buzz from its Sundance premiere, it was the first film in the program to sell out, and also ended up second in the voting for the audience award.

If "Moon" can now use this springboard to become a cult hit at the U.K. box office, it will go some way to validating Edinburgh's claim to be a "festival of discovery."

Fest organizers will certainly point to the prize for Kyle Patrick Alvarez's "Easier With Practice" to back up that claim. The pic, starring Brian Geraghty as a writer on a promotional tour who receives an erotic phone call from a stranger, previously screened at Cinevegas but came to Edinburgh with virtually no profile.

Edinburgh's artistic director Hannah McGill commented, "It says a lot about EIFF and its mission as a discovery festival that Duncan Jones, Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Tomm Moore and Cary Joji Fukunaga are all first-time feature directors."

Other films that figured strongly in the audience voting included Vogue documentary "The September Issue," last year's French sleeper hit "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," and the dark Scottish comedy "Crying With Laughter."


MOSCOW — Russian films swept the board at the 31st Moscow Intl. Film Festival, which closed Sunday.

All four local pics in the 16-strong competition lineup came away with a prize. Only the helming kudo went abroad — to frosh director Mariana Chenillo from Mexico for "Five Days Without Nora."

The top Gold St. George award for film went to Nikolai Dostal for "Pete on the Way to Heaven." Alexander Proshkin took the special jury prize for "The Miracle."

Karen Shakhnazarov's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's short story "Ward Number Six" captured best actor for Vladimir Ilyin. Best actress went to tyke Lena Kostyuk for Kira Muratova's "Melody for the Barrel-Organ," which also took the Fipresci prize.

Jury president Pavel Lungin, whose film "The Tsar" opened the festival, said from the stage that "our Russian films were just better this year."

The prize for the Perspectives sidebar went to Georgian director Vano Burduli for his debut feature "The Conflict Zone."

The lifetime achievement award went to Georgian director Rezo Chkheidze. In a reference to the troubled relationship between Russia and Georgia, the 82-year-old director said: "I am optimistic about the future. Politics is not the business of filmmakers — but love is."

The other honorary award, the Konstantin Stanislavsky prize, had been presented posthumously a week earlier at the opening ceremony to Russian actor Oleg Yankovsky, whose last role was in "The Tsar."

Closing film was the first screening outside the U.S. of Michael Mann's "Public Enemies."

Fest prexy Nikita Mikhalkov said that this showed the importance the film biz attached to the Russian market.

Mann paid tribute to the impact of Russian cinema around the world, and spoke of his own family roots in the country.

Main industry event at festival was the debut edition of the fest's co-production market.

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