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by Indiewire
August 18, 2005 9:15 AM
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"Nine Lives," "Fratricide" Among Numerous Winners At Locarno

With nearly as many categories as there are days in the festival, over a dozen winners for the Locarno International Film Festival were announced Saturday, August 13, heaping kudos and cash prizes on outstanding films and their makers. Among them was Rodrigo Garcia's "Nine Lives," which garnered three awards including the International Competition's Golden Leopard. Yilmaz Arslan's "Fratricide" was another festival favorite, picking up the Silver Leopard while Nobuhiro Suwa's "Un Couple Parfait" earned the Special Jury Prize. The International Federation Film Societies' Don Quixote award went to Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige for "A Perfect Day."

In addition to taking home the festival's grand prize and a total of 96,000 SF (Swiss francs), Rodrigo's "Nine Lives," about nine women in the midst of life-altering moments and whose destinies are unknowingly intertwined, also nabbed the Junior Jury First prize (offered by the Department for Education, Culture and Sport). And the ensemble cast, including Holly Hunter, Robin Wright Penn, Elpidia Carillo, Kathy Baker, Glenn Close, Sissy Spacek and Dakota Fanning, took home the Leopard for best actress.

Arslan's "Fratricide," about Kurdish immigrants in Germany struggling to carve out an identity in their host country but who can't seem to escape the violence of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict from their native Turkey, earned the competition's second prize (30,000 SF) as well as the Junior Jury's 3rd prize award (2,000 SF).

"Un couple Parfait," directed by Suwa about a couple on the verge of divorce challenged audiences to ponder the question, "why are two people together?" To which festival jurors responded, "To win the Special Jury prize and split the award money."

Hadjithomas and Joreiege garnered the Don Quixote award for their film, "A Perfect Day" set in Beirut, about the passive existence of 25-year-old Malek, who is experiencing the onset of narcolepsy and his over-bearing mother 15 years after the disappearance of his father.

In all, 271 films and 222 videos were screened at this years' ten-day festival which counted an audience of more than 189,000 spectators.

[Read the entire list of award winners at the festival website.]

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