'Congorama' nabs top Prix Jutra honors

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MONTREAL -- "Congorama," a subdued comedy about a Belgian man discovering his roots in rural Quebec, grabbed top honors Sunday night at the Prix Jutras, Quebec's film awards.

The French-language feature, which closed the Directors' Fortnight at last year's Festival de Cannes, earned Philippe Falardeau the best director and best screenplay trophies, and producers Luc Dery and Kim McCraw the Jutra for best film.

In addition, "Congorama's" Paul Ahmarani and Olivier Gourmet shared the best actor prize, while co-star Gabriel Arcand grabbed the trophy for best supporting actor.

The other big winner at this year's Jutras was the Rwanda drama "Un dimanche a Kigali," which nabbed six trophies, all in craft categories. These included Pierre Mignot earning the best cinematography prize, Jorane getting the prize for best original music, and Michele Hamel earning the Jutra for best costumes.

Robert Favreau's "Un dimanche a Kigali" also earned a best art direction prize for Andre-Line Beauparlant, the best sound prized shared by Claude La Haye, Hans Peter Strobl, Marie-Claude Gagne, and the prize for best makeup by Marie-Angele Breitner.

There were no Jutras for Charles Biname's "Maurice Richard," which earned nine trophies Feb. 13 at the Genies, Canada's film awards, in Toronto.

The biopic about former Montreal Canadiens star Maurice Richard competed at last year's Jutras, which was dominated by Jean-Marc Vallee's "C.R.A.Z.Y."

Also virtually overlooked at the Jutras this year was Erik Canuel's bilingual comedy "Bon Cop, Bad Cop," which last year became the highest-grossing Canadian movie. The film went into the Jutras competition with 12 nominations but came away with just one trophy -- best editing for Jean-Francois Bergeron.

In the acting categories, Celine Bonnier won the best actress Jutra for her performance in "Delivrez-moi," while fellow actress Fanny Mallette grabbed the best supporting actress trophy for her star turn in "Cheech."

Comedian Normand Brathwaite was host of the awards gala, held at Montreal's Place des Arts. Radio-Canada star Pierre Curzi, who recently turned in his journalist's cap to join Quebec's Parti Quebec political party, received the Prix Jutra homage. That prize, like the awards themselves, is named for the late Quebec filmmaker Claude Jutra.
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