Audiences respond to 'Waste Land' at Vancouver Fest

TORONTO -- The Sundance and Berlin audience award winner "Waste Land," by Lucy Walker, has repeated that success at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The documentary about Brazilian artist Vik Muniz collaborating with garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro was voted the most popular film by festivalgoers in Vancouver.

The British-Brazilian film about landfill recyclers who convert garbage into art sold at international auction houses was picked up by Arthouse for a U.S. release.

Vancouver's audience award for best non-fiction film went to the German film "Kinshasa Symphony," by Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer, while the most popular Canadian film, voted on by ordinary fest-goers, was Sara McIntyre's "Two Indians Talking," a drama about two first nations cousins played by Nathaniel Arcand and Justin Rain.

Other audience award winners included Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky snagging the most popular Canadian documentary award for "Leave Them Laughing," a film about comic/singer Carla Zilbersmith's struggle with the incurable disease ALS.

And festgoers picked Sturla Gunnarson's "Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie" as the most popular environmental film.

On the jury front, the trophy for best Canadian feature film went to Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies," Canada's contender for Oscar's best foreign language category and the Toronto International Film Festival's best Canadian film.

The Canadian-French co-production portrays a brother and sister, played by Maxim Gaudette and Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, travelling to the Middle East after their mother's death to discover their family roots.

Villeneuve also saw his 2000 film "Maelstrom" earn the top Canadian film prize in Vancouver.

And the Vancouver jury named Quebec director Halima Ouardir as the most promising short film director for "Mokhtar."

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