Spanish film festival hands out prizes

San Sebastian: Francois Ozon made off with first prize and the best screenplay prize at the 60th edition of the San Sebastian film festival with his comedy ‘Dans la maison’, beating out Pablo Berger`s ‘Blancanieves’.

The third time worked as a charm for Ozon, whose "Bajo la arena" and "Mi refugio" had competed fruitlessly before. The panel of judges headed by Christine Vachon selected him for the top award for the film`s impeccable framework, a movie based on the theater work "El chico de la ultima fila" by Juan Mayorga.

‘Blancanieves’ was the only film that seemed capable of overshadowing Ozon for best picture, and although the seductive power of the new version of the classic Grimm Brothers` tale received two awards, it was unable to prevail for the top Golden Shell award for best film.

The judges presented the Special Jury Prize to Pablo Berger and a silver award for best actress for the film, which has been selected to represent Spain at this year`s Oscars.

But it was not Maribel Verdu, whose name had been on everyone`s lips as a possible winner for her role as the perfidious stepmother, but rather an emotional Macarena Garcia, playing the young Blancanieves, who shared the award with another first-timer, Katie Coseni, for "Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang", by France`s Laurent Cantet, an adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel.

The public selected ‘The Sessions’, by Ben Lewin, for the Audience Award and ‘The Angel`s Share’, by Ken Loach as the best European production.