oxygen

Two young men with cystic fibrosis have different ways of coping with their shortened life expectancy in Oxygen. (Montreal World Film Festival)

Oxygen, a Dutch-Belgian film about young people trying to figure out how to live with cystic fibrosis, has won two prizes at the Montreal World Film Festival, including the Grand Prix des Americas.

The feature film debut by Belgian director Hans Van Nuffel also won the Ecumenical Award at the festival, which ended Sunday.

Van Nuffel won the jury award at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival for the short film Fal.

Oxygen follows two young men who suffer from the disease: one an athlete, another who hangs out with a gang of hoodlums.

The best Canadian film as voted by the audiences was Tromper Le Silence by Quebec director Julie Hivon. It follows the relationship between a successful photographer and a troubled young man.

Tromper Le Silence also won the Innovation Award voted on by the jury.

Another double winner was The Day I Was Not Born (Das Lied in Mir) by Florian Cossen, which took the Fipresci Prize from International Film Critics and best film prize voted on by audiences.

It is a debut feature film by Cossen, who spent his childhood in Israel, Canada, Spain and Costa Rica before settling in Germany.

The Day I Was Not Born is about an adult woman who discovers she was adopted from Buenos Aires and the troubling search she makes for her birthparents.

It tied for most popular film with Parajos de Papel (Paper Birds ) by TV presenter turned director Emilio Aragon of Spain.

Che Guevara, who has recently been feted in feature film by Stephen Soderberg, was again a popular choice in documentary format. Tristan Bauer's Che, Un Hombre Nuevo (Che, A New Man) won the award for best documentary.

Other prizes:

  • Special Grand Prix from the jury: Dalla Via in Poi (From the Waist On) by Gianfrancesco Lazotti of Italy.
  • Best director: Limbo by Maria Sodahl of Norway, Tête de Turb by Pascal Elbé of France.
  • Best actress: Eri Fukatsu for her role in Akunin (Villain) by Lee Sang-Il of Japan.
  • Best actor: François Papineau for Route 132 by Louis Bélanger of Canada.
  • Best screenplay: Silvia Pasternac, Fernando Leon and Carlos Carrera for De La Infancia (From Childhood) from Mexico.
  • Best short film: El Vendedor del Ano (Salesman of the Year) by Coté Soler of Spain.
  • Short film jury award: Sexting by Neil Labute of the U.S.
  • Best Canadian short: Le Cirque (The Circus) by Nicolas Brault.
  • Zenith for best first fiction feature: Amore Liquido (Liquid Love) by Mario Luca Cattaneo of Italy.