'Giant' wins big at Cartagena fest

Oscar nominee 'Secret in Their Eyes' shut out of prizes

MEXICO CITY -- Adrian Biniez's dark comedy "Giant" came up big with five awards at the 50th edition of the Cartagena International Film Festival, including best picture and director.

Co-produced by Uruguay's Control Z Films, "Giant" also won the critics award, best screenplay for writer-director Biniez, and actor for Horacio Camandule, who plays an overweight supermarket security guard obsessed with a cleaning woman. Cologne, Germany-based The Match Factory handles international sales.

Biniez's feature debut has garnered numerous awards on the festival circuit. At the Berlin film fest, where it made its worldwide premiere last year, "Giant" grabbed the Silver Bear and two other prizes.

At this year's edition of Cartagena, which ran from Feb. 25-March 5, "Giant" was facing stiff competition in the Ibero-American fiction section. One of the strongest films in the category, Juan Jose Campanella's Oscar-nominated "The Secret in Their Eyes," walked away empty handed.

Best Colombian feature went to Ciro Guerra's music-themed odyssey "The Wind Journeys," while the jury gave best first work to Carlos Gaviria's drama "Portraits in a Sea of Lies." The Peru-Colombia co-production "Undertow," winner of the audience award at Sundance this year, repeated its success with the audience prize in Cartagena.

Celebrating its golden anniversary, Cartagena is Latin America's oldest film festival. Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez attended the opening ceremony. Later during the week there was a special screening of the Colombia-Costa Rica co-production "Of Love and Other Demons," the latest Garcia Marquez novel that has been adapted for the big screen.
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