Nemescu's last earns Brussels award


BRUSSELS -- "California Dreamin," by the late Romanian director Cristian Nemescu, has won the Iris Award, the top prize at the Brussels European Film Festival.

The movie, a satire on the culture clash between American NATO troops and small-town Romanians during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, already won the 'Un Certain Regard' award at Cannes in May.

The film also received two other important prizes at the Brussels festival: the Audience Award and the Canvas TV Award for the best film. Director Cristian Nemescu died last year in August in a car accident, aged just 27.

The RTBF TV and the Be TV prizes both went to Gabriel Range's controversial faux documentary, "Death of a President," about the fictional assassination of President George W Bush.

The nine-day European Film Festival showcases debut or second features from young directors across the continent. The festival, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, screened 28 new films, 17 of which were first features and 11 of which were second efforts.