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Iranian filmmaker Saman Salur wins Locarno Golden Leopard for dark comedy

TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Iranian dark comedy "A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral" (2006) directed by Saman Salur won the Special Jury Prize in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival.

Salur had previously said that he hoped to win an award at the event.

"I think that indie Iranian films, which had been ignored in domestic events over the few past years, were supported due to the prize given to 'A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral'," Salur told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

"The prize will place me in a somewhat difficult situation, because I will now have to choose the subjects of my films with more care," he added.

Iranian filmmaker Rafi Pitts was one of the section's five jury members at the Swiss festival.

Salur said that he hopes Iranian films will be appreciated more at home, adding, "We make films in order to receive awards at the Fajr festival and to be screened in the country. I hope conditions are prepared for such films."

Last January, "A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral" was screened at the 24th Fajr International Film Festival, Iran's most prestigious film gala held annually in Tehran.

Iranian award-winner Asghar Farhadi's "Chahrshanbeh-Suri" also won a prize in one of the sideline sections of this year's Locarno film festival.

Following is a list of the main prize winners of the Locarno film festival, which ended on Saturday, according to AFP:

Golden Leopard: "Das Fraulein" (The Young Lady) directed by Andrea Staka, Switzerland/Germany.

Jury's Special Prize: "Half Nelson" directed by Ryan Fleck, United States.

Leopard for Best Actress: Amber Tamblin in "Stephanie Daley", United States.

Leopard for Best Actor: Burghart Klaussner in "Der Mann von der Botschaft" (The Man from the Embassy), Germany.

Best Screenplay: Laurent Achard (France) for "Le Dernier des Fous" (The Last of the Madmen), France/Belgium.

Special Mention: "Body Rice" directed by Hugo Vieira da Silva, Portugal.

Public's Prize: "Das Leben der Anderen" (The Life of Others) directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Germany.

International Press (FIPRESCI) Jury's Prize: "Das Fraulein" (The Young Lady) directed by Andrea Staka, Switzerland/Germany.

Best First Film: "L'Annee Suivante" (Next Year) directed by Isabelle Csajka, France.

Ecumenical Jury's Prize: "Agua" directed by Veronica Chen, Argentina/France.

... Payvand News - 8/13/06 ... --

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