'Armadillo' takes Critics Week top prize

Award voted on by international press at Cannes

CANNES -- Janus Metz' Danish war film "Armadillo" took home the Critics Week's Grand Prize Thursday night as the Festival de Cannes sidebar closed during its traditional Riviera ceremony. 

Metz' documentary follows young soldiers from Denmark fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan. 

"Armadillo" marks the first time a documentary has screened in the Critics Week competition since 1990, when the sidebar began its Competition section.

The film has sparked a nationwide debate in Metz' home country with the Danish Defense Minister called in and the Danish army allegedly commissioning an investigation into the behavior of the soldiers depicted in the film.

The Critics Week top prize was voted upon by international press throughout the course of the festival.

Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di's "Bi, Don't be Afraid!" won both the SACD prize for best screenwriting and the CCAS (Main Fund of Social Activities) and ACID (Association of Independent Cinema for its Distribution) cash prize.

The Ofaj/TV5Monde prize given by French and German high school students went to Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson's "Sound of Noise." Kirsten Dunst and James Franco presented their respective short films as the sidebar turned its movie theater lights off.