Syrian film edges local at Osian's

'The Long Night' beats 'Khargosh' for top prize

NEW DELHI -- A Syrian film about jailed political dissidents edged past local favorite "Khargosh" to win the top prize at the Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival in New Delhi on Friday.

"The Long Night," directed by Hatem Ali, was adjudged the best film at the 11th edition of the festival of Asian and Arab cinema.

"Khargosh," a Hindi film about a boy used as a go-between by two lovers, was voted the best in an audience poll and got a special mention from the jury.

The film, directed by Paresh Kamdar, also shared a NETPAC-FIPRESCI critics’ award with "The Long Night" for “combining the real and imaginary world and its lyrical beauty of images.”

Marathi film "Vitthal," directed by Vinoo Choliparambil, was the other winner from India, getting a special mention in the Short Film category -- won by Iran’s Panah Panahi for "The First Film."

Another Iranian film "Before the Burial" carried off the acting awards, with Alireza Aghakhani and Negar Javaherian adjudged the best actor and best actress.

About 100 feature-length and short films were screened at the week-long festival, drawing thousands of people in a country where world cinema is rarely shown in theaters.