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Dolphin awards at Troia Film Festival

The 21st edition of the Troia International Film Festival (Festroia) concluded last Saturday evening (June 4) with the announcement and presentation of the Dolphin and Audience Awards, held in the historic Forum Luisa Todi, the Festival’s main screening venue.

The Gold Dolphin Prize, for the Best Film in the Festival’s Official Competition section, was awarded to TURTLES CAN FLY, a humanistic drama from Iran, directed by Bahman Ghobadi. The film, which follows the story of several refugee children who await their fates on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the American invasion, also won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize, given by a group of international film critics. The film has won many awards at various international festivals, and is being distributed internationally by BAC Films in Paris.

A Silver Dolphin for Special Jury Prize was given to the Chilean film MACHUCA, directed by Andres Wood. The film, which follows the adventures of two young boys who observe a political coup in their native Chile, is an international co-production with Spain, France and the UK.

Best Director honors were awarded to Erik Poppe for the Norwegian film HAWAII, OSLO, a multi-character drama about a mix of personalities who cross each other's path during the hottest day of the year in Oslo.

Mikael Persbrandt was awarded the Silver Dolphin prize as Best Actor for his moving portrait of an everyman who decides to kill himself and spends his last day driving around to say good-bye to everybody, including his mistress, his son, the son's soccer coach and his mother, in the Swedish/Danish co-production DAY AND NIGHT.

For Best Actress, Dorka Gryllus won top honors for her strong performance in the Hungarian drama DALLAS PASHAMENDE, written and directed by Robert-Adrian Pejo. Argentine scriptwriters Carlos Sorin, Santiago Calori and Salvador Rosselli shared the Silver Dolphin prize for Best Screenplay for the film BOMBOM-EL PERRO, while the Best Cinematography prize was awarded to Andrezej Szulkowski, for his exemplary work in the Polish film, THE WEDDING.

THE WEDDING, a riotous satire on the rites of a traditional Polish wedding reception, which features an array of vivid characters, was an instant crowd pleaser and won the Festival’s Audience Award for Polish director Wojtek Smarzowski.

In the other Competition Sections, Afghani filmmaker Atiq Rahimi won the First Works Award for his debut film EARTH AND ASHES, a moving portrait of a grandfather and his deaf grandson who suffer through the continuing violence in their war torn country.

American director Doug Sadler was awarded the Setubal Prize for Best American Independent Film for his moving coming-of-age story SWIMMERS, starring Tony Award winner Cherry Jones, Shawn Hatosy and Sarah Paulson. Director Hal Salwen was given Honorable Mention honors for his winning comedy about female relationships and the trouble that men can cause in the winning DUANE INCARNATE.

Finally, Spanish director Pau Vergara scored the top prize in the Man and His Environment section for his film BEYOND THE WIRE. As evidenced by the mix of nationalities and genres awarded at its event, Festroia continues to expand its reputation as an event that seeks out and gives recognition to challenging films by new talents on the international film scene.

Sandy Mandelberger
Industry Editor

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