In 'Control': Biopic tops Fortnight nods


CANNES -- Anton Corbijn's "Control" was the big winner as the Festival de Cannes' Directors' Fortnight wrapped its 10-day run Friday, taking three awards on the same day the Weinstein Co. acquired North American rights to the film.

"Control" won the "Regards Jeunes" Prize awarded to the best first or second feature film, the Europa Cinemas Label prize for best European film in the sidebar and was given honorable mention for the CICAE Art & Essai prize for best film.

The film generated critical raves and buyer interest after making its world premiere as the Directors' Fortnight's opening-night film. It is the first feature from Dutch-born photographer-turned-director Corbijn.

The black-and-white drama -- which stars Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara and Craig Parkinson -- centers on Ian Curtis, lead singer of the British band Joy Division, who committed suicide in 1980 at age 23.

"Control" will receive distribution support from European Cinemas' network of 690 cinemas in 55 countries.

Independent film body the CICAE (Confederation Internationale des Cinemas d'Art & Essai) gave its top prize to Lenny Abrahamson's "Garage" from Ireland. "Garage," which stars Pat Shortt, tells the story of a misfit caretaker of a failing gas station in rural Ireland who finds his life changed forever during the course of a summer.

Jan Bonny's "Gegenuber" (Counterparts) from Germany also received honorable mention in the category. A total of 23 feature films vied this year for the Directors' Fortnight prizes, including six French titles and 17 foreign films, with more than 35,000 cinephiles making their way to screenings of the selection on the Croisette.

The sidebar's titles will screen Wednesday through June 5 at Paris' Cinema des Cineastes.