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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
German director's Locarno triumph
Locarno winners
German director Iain Dilthey (centre) was a surprise winner
German filmmaker Iain Dilthey scored a surprise victory at Switzerland's 55th Locarno International Film Festival when his film Das Verlangen (The Longing) took the top prize.

The film, a psychological drama about the love affair between a mechanic and the wife of a smalltown dignitary, was chosen by a majority vote of six to one by the jury, headed by French-Serbian producer Cedomir Kolar.

It was not expected to win the top award - the Golden Leopard - at Sunday's closing-night ceremony.

The decision was greeted with boos from some members of the audience, which was made up mainly of journalists and film industry professionals.

Dilthey's prize includes 90,000 Swiss francs (38,300), which he will share with the film's producer.

The special jury prize went to the Iranian film Man, Taraneh, Panzdah Sal Daram (I, Taraneh, Am 15), a depiction of the lives of women in Iran. The film also picked up the best actress award for its star, Taraneh Allidousti.

Black and white Argentinian drama Tan De Repente (So Suddenly) and Szep Napok (Pleasant Days), a Hungarian film focusing on the lives of smalltown teenagers, shared the silver Leopard.

The best actor prize went to young Greek actor Giorgos Karayannis for his role in the film Hard Goodbyes, the story of a young boy's ordeal following the death of his father.
Argentinian director Diego Lerman
Argentinian director Diego Lerman shared the Silver Leopard

The special Leopard Of Honour award was given to veteran Hollywood director Sydney Pollack, with organisers citing his "elegance, commitment and aesthetic considerations" as reasons for the prize.

"If critics were to take a look at which directors now might fit la politique des auteurs, his name would be top of the list," said a festival spokesperson.

His 1969 film They Shoot Horses Don't They? was also screened during the festival.

The 10-day event has a reputation for being a leader in discovering fresh talent.

The competition, which began six years ago, has been restricted not only to first or second films by directors, but also to films made by directors on the verge of international recognition.

This year 22 films from more than 17 countries were screened.

Those shown out of competition included Ali G Indahouse, Bend It Like Beckham, The Importance Of Being Earnest and the new Mel Gibson thriller Signs.

See also:

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