'The Unicorn' Wins Buenos Aires Film Festival

Courtesy of Anthology Film Archives
'The Unicorn'

French star Louis Garrel grabbed the best director award for 'A Faithful Man.'

Isabelle Dupuis and Tim Geraghty's The Unicorn topped the 21st edition of the Buenos Aires Film Festival (Bafici), which on Saturday announced the awards of its six official competitions.

Dupuis' and Geraghty's documentary, premiered at the Visions du Réel film festival, provides an intimate portrait of outsider musician Peter Grudzien, creator of what many consider to be the first openly gay country album.

French star Louis Garrel (The Dreamers), son of renowned filmmaker Philippe Garrel, earned best director honors for his sophomore film, the Toronto-premiered A Faithful Man. The pic — "(a) very New Wave-ish tale of love, sex, death, adultery and picturesque Paris streets, in a movie that seems to pay homage to mid-career Francois Truffaut (especially Stolen Kisses)," according to Jordan Mintzer's review for The Hollywood Reporter — co-stars Lily-Rose Depp and Laetitia Casta.

A Special Jury Prize was awarded to Lucia Garibaldi's debut The Sharks, a coming-of-age drama. The film, which premiered in January at Sundance, was described as "a simmering hormonal cauldron of early-adolescent emotional isolation" in The Hollywood Reporter's review by David Rooney, who flagged it as "a solid festival calling card for the promising Uruguayan writer-director."

Lucio Castro's End of the Century topped the local competition, in which former Bafici programmer Eloisa Solaas took home best director honors for her debut documentary The Faculties, while Berlinale's Teddy Award winner Brief Story of the Green Planet, helmed by Santiago Loza, received a special mention.

The 21st edition of Bafici is set to conclude Sunday, after featuring more than 300 films (a slightly smaller edition, in the midst of the country's economic crisis) and over 40 world premieres. The program included focuses on Portuguese filmmaker Paulo Rocha, Austrian helmer Friedl vom Gröller, British directors Julien Temple (a special guest) and Muriel Box, French group ACID and 1970s Swedish cult star Christina Lindberg, who attended the festival as part of the jury.

The official awards are listed below.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 

Best film: The Unicorn – Isabelle Dupuis and Tim Geraghty
Special jury prize: The Sharks – Lucia Garibaldi
Best director: Louis Garrel – A Faithful Man
Best actor: Keita Ninomiya (We Are Little Zombies)
Best actress: Ella Smith (Ray & Liz)
Best original score: Monos (Alejandro Landes)

ARGENTINE COMPETITION 

Best film: End of the Century – Lucio Castro
Best director: Eloisa Solaas – The Faculties
Special mention: Brief Story of the Green Planet – Santiago Loza

AVANT-GARDE AND GENRE COMPETITION 

Best film: Danny – Lewis Bennett & Aaron Zeghers
Grand prize: The Children of the Dead – Kelly Copper & Pavol Liska
Best short film: Ceniza verde – Pablo Mazzolo

LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION

Best film: La fundición del tiempo – Juan Álvarez Neme
Best director: Peri Azar Gran Orquesta

HUMAN RIGHTS COMPETITION

Best film: Soleils noirs  Julien Elie 
Special mention: ¿Quién mató a mi hermano? – Ana Fraile & Lucas Scavino

SHORT FILMS COMPETITION

Best short films:
Blue Boy (Manuel Abramovich)
La siesta (Federico Luis Tachella)
El récord (Daniel Elias)
Romance de la ternura tardía (Ana Bugni)