'Picco' wins German Independence Award

Oldenburg fest also honors 'Happy Poet'

COLOGNE, Germany – "Picco," a hard-hitting prison drama from debut director Philip Koch, has won the German Independence Award at the 17th Oldenburg Film Festival.

The drama is based on a real-life event in a German youth prison where inmates tortured and killed a cellmate.

"A portrait of a true hell on earth," is how the Oldenburg International Jury, headed by actress Deborah Kara Unger, described "Picco," calling the film "clear and heartbreaking in any language."

Oldenburg's regular film fans preferred the lighter fare of Paul Gordon's "The Happy Poet." The comedy about a man trying to set up an organic heath food stand won Oldenburg's audience award.

Germany's leading indie film fest wrapped Sunday night with the world premiere of "Pound of Flesh," a drama directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs and starring Timothy Bottoms, Whitney Able and Malcolm McDowell.