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by Brian Brooks
April 29, 2009 10:30 AM
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Riverrun Fest is a Barrel of "Monkeys"

A scene from Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Three Monkeys." Image courtesy of Zeitgeist Films.

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Three Monkeys" topped out with the best narrative feature prize at the Riverrun International Film Festival, with the film's Hatice Aslan taking a jury prize for best actress. "Monkeys" portrays a family that suffers from a communication breakdown when the father takes the blame for a crime he didn’t commit. Canada's "Mommy is at the Hairdresser's" by Lea Pool, meanwhile won the audience prize for best feature. Italian Paolo Sorrentino won the best director nod for his Italian politician biopic, "Il Divo," while the film also won best actor (Toni Servillo) and best cinematography (Luca Bigazzi).

The jury award for best documentary went to Nati Baratz's "Unmistaken Child" (Israel). The film follows a young monk on a trek through Nepal and Tibet to find the reincarnation of his spiritual master, providing a rare glimpse into a spiritual world rarely seen by outsiders. "Food Inc." by Robert Kenner, meanwhile, took the audience prize for best doc. The feature film shatters the illusions of what we eat and examines the global food supply and how unhealthy it has become.

Also receiving Riverrun accolades were "Tulpan," which took best screenplay (Sergey Dvortsevoy & Gennady Ostrovskiy) for their story of an eager young man in Kazakhstan who tries to get his own flock of sheep and win the heart of the only eligible bachelorette around. Best narrative short and best documentary short went to "Pop Art" by Amanda Boyle (UK) and "The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 206" by Adam Pertofsky respetively.

[For more information and other winners, visit the Riverrun Fest's website.]

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