Cannes: 'Salvo' Tops Critics' Week Awards

Salvo Cannes Critics Week Still - H 2013

Salvo Cannes Critics Week Still - H 2013

Filmmakers Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza nabbed two awards, while Daria Belova's "Come and Play," "Pleasure" by Nina Thyberg and "Le Demantlement" by Sebastien Pilote were also honored.

CANNES -- As the festival winds down and the Croisette starts to clear out as executives fly home, the first of the weekend's awards were handed out Thursday night by the Critics’ Week sidebar in an intimate ceremony at the Miramar Hotel.

The €10,000 Nespresso Grand Prize went to Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza.  

The France 4 Visionary Award, worth €4,000, also went to Salvo.

The moody Mafia thriller and love story set in modern Sicily has received solid reviews for its visually arresting style and minimalist dialogue.

"Many people in Italy have tried to keep their eyes closed, but this loud voice coming from the Critics' Week is forcing them to open their eyes," said Piazza upon accepting the first award, while the second visit to the stage elicited a simple "Grazie!"

While Salvo unexpectedly grabbed two awards, the jury also decided to give a "special mention" to Argentinean comedy Los Duenos, by Agustin Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky.

Portuguese director Miguel Gomes (Tabu) presided over the feature jury, which was rounded out by Dennis Lim, program director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Neil Young, co-director of the International Film Festival Bradford, and journalists Alin Tasciyan and Alex Vicente.

The Discovery prize for short film, which gives €8,000 towards the winner's first feature, was awarded to Come and Play by Daria Belova.

The Canal+ short film award went to Pleasure by Ninja Thyberg.

Director Mia Hansen-Love (All Is Forgiven) was joined by Toronto International Film Festival programmer Brad Deane, Biennale College of Cinema program officer Savina Neirotti, International Film Festival of Stockholm program coordinator Johannes Palmroos, and Cinemart International Film Festival of Rotterdam advisor Lorna Tee on the short film jury.

When Gomes was called on stage to present the grand prize, he joked that he is a "Marxist" and asked the rest of the jury to join him.  "I won't tell you what happened between us or how we decided, but Mia was sitting at the next table, so maybe she can tell you," he joked about Hansen-Love's detailed descriptions of her jury's discussions during the short film section.

The Society of Authors, Directors and Composers Award for best screenplay and its €4,000 prize was given to Le Demantlement by Sebastien Pilote.

The opening film was Suzanne, which premiered out of competition, and Sundance favorite Ain’t Them Bodies Saints also had a special out-of-competition screening in the slate. Critics’ Week is known for focusing on new talent and an internationally diverse selection.