'The Rider,' 'Sicilian Ghost Story,' 'Foxtrot' Claim Honors at Athens Film Festival

Courtesy of Telluride Film Festival
'The Rider'

'Mobile Homes' won the audience award at the Greek fest, which drew to a close on Sunday.

The Rider, Chloe Zhao’s stylish feature about a young rodeo rider that won the art cinema award at this year’s Director’s Fortnight competition in Cannes and recently the best film award in Deauville, has claimed the top prize at the Athens International Film Festival.

Out of 10 titles in the official competition, which focused on first- and second-time directors, the panel of judges (including The Hollywood Reporter) named Zhao’s second feature the main winner at the 23rd edition of the event, which closed Sunday.

Elsewhere, Samuel Moaz was named best director for Foxtrot, the critically acclaimed satire about the Israel-Palestinian conflict that bowed in Venice. Foxtrot is also Israel’s foreign-language film submission for the Academy Awards.

The fest's best screenplay award went to Sicilian Ghost Story, a drama-fantasy based around a notorious Mafia murder in the 1990s from directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. Both filmmakers were in Athens to collect their prize (Zhao and Moaz accepted via video messages).

Mobile Homes, from Vladimir de Fontenay and starring Imogen Poots as a single mother who goes to extreme measures to house her young son, picked up the audience award.

Lynne Ramsay and Vanessa Redgrave were among the special guests at the Athens Film Festival, which ran Sept. 20 through Sunday.