Diego Rougier's 'Sal' Named Grand Prize Winner at First Time Fest

Darren Aronofsky
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Aronofsky is working on a big-budget film on the life of Noah for Paramount and New Regency.

Martin Scorsese presents the John Huston Award to director Darren Aronofksy at the closing-night awards ceremony.

Sal, a modern-day Western by Argentinian writer-director Diego Rougier, was named the grand prize winner at the inaugural First Time Fest, which concluded Monday night in New York with a closing-night awards ceremony held at the Players Club and hosted by Ellen Burstyn.

The award, presented by Anthony Rapp, brings with it an offer from Cinema Libre Studio for theatrical distribution and international sales representation.

At the ceremony, Martin Scorsese also presented the first John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema to director Darren Aronofksy.

A celebration of first-time filmmakers co-founded by Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward, the four-day festival screened 12 new films from around the world and 11 retrospective screenings of films by such directors as Sofia Coppola, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Todd Solondz and Hal Hartley.

The other winners:

Outstanding Achievement in Directing
Amelie Van Elmbt for Headfirst (La tete la premiere)

Outstanding Achievement in Writing
Max Weissberg for Summertime

Outstanding Achievement in Acting
Neal Bledsoe for Junction and Alice De Lencquesaing for Headfirst (La tete la premiere)

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
David Bravo for Sal

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Jonah Marin, John Young for Zipper

Outstanding Achievement in Scoring
Martin Bossa, Tomas Carnelli for I Love You All (Los quiero a todos)