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'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Wins Top Award at Reykjavik Film Festival

1:15 PM PST 10/06/2012 by Georg Szalai

Benh Zeitlin's film was honored with the event's top award, the Golden Puffin, with the critics award going to Sean Baker's "Starlet."

LONDON - The Reykjavik International Film Festival in Iceland has awarded its top award, the Golden Puffin, to Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Honored at the awards ceremony Saturday night at the modern Harpa Music Hall in Iceland's capital, the U.S. film beat out 11 other contenders in the festival's competition category dubbed New Visions.

The jury lauded the film "for its spirit of storytelling, visual inventiveness and creative audacity, which marks Benh Zeitlin as a leading figure for the next generation of independent film artists."

It also awarded a special mention to Moon Man, directed by Stephan Schesch, for "its wit and craft."

In more good news for U.S. directors, the FIPRESCI Critics’ Award went to Sean Baker's Starlet.

The Audience Award online vote saw French movie Queen of Montreuil, directed by Solveig Anspach, emerge as the winner.

Israeli-French film God’s Neighbors, from director Meni Yaesh, won the Church of Iceland Award. “God’s Neighbors is a memorable exploration of the relation between religion and justice, violence and love," the jury said. Again, it gave a special mention to Moon Man.

The festival's Environment Award went to Viktor Kossakovsky's ¡Vivan las Antipodas!

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai 

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