Glen Gould won the Atlantic Film Festival's award for best actor, for his portrayal of a washed-up boxer in Charlie Zone. The film took home four prizes. (Atlantic Film Festival)

Charlie Zone, a feature film that shows a dark side of Halifax life, was the big winner at the Atlantic Film Festival, taking four awards.

The second feature from Halifax playwright and director Mike Melski was declared best Atlantic feature and won the prize for best direction as the festival wrapped up on Saturday. The best feature honour comes with a $10,000 cash award.

Charlie Zone's cinematographer Christopher Ball won the $10,000 Ed Higginson Cinematography Award, while lead actor Glen Gould won the Dave Renton Award for outstanding performance.

In the film, Gould plays a washed-up Aboriginal boxer who agrees to help rescue a young woman from a heroin den in the north end of Halifax, a neighbourhood known as "Charlie Zone." The adventure turns violent as the kidnap victim has another agenda.

Cloudburst, Thom Fitzgerald's new film about an aging lesbian couple trying to stay together, won the $50,000 Audience Award, as well as the Michael Weir Award for best original screenplay. The film starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker was shot in Nova Scotia and was based on Fitzgerald’s play of the same name.

The $10,000 best Canadian feature award went to Quebec director Jean Marc Vallée's Café de Flore, a split-timeline love story from the filmmaker behind C.R.A.Z.Y. and The Young Victoria.

Other winners announced Saturday:

  • Best Atlantic short ($3,000 in film stock): I’m 14 and I Hate The World, by Kenneth J Harvey.
  • Rex Tasker Documentary Award ($2,500 towards next film project): 18 Days, Tarek Abouamin.
  • Joan Orenstein Award for best actress ($500): Ruth Lawrence in Clipper Gold.
  • Script development award ($10,000 in development financing): Iain MacLeod for Soccer Punch.
  • Award for sound editing ($500): Afghan Luke, Brian Power, Eva Madden, Bob Melanson and Cory Tetford.
  • Award for outstanding music ($500): Snow, Asif Illyas.
  • RBC emerging artist award ($5,000): Eden, Mo Kenney and Greg Jackson.
  • Best Canadian short ($5,000 package): Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby.
  • The Joy Award: Gerrish Lane, Robert Santaguida.
  • The Helen Hill Animated Joy Award: Kreb’s Tale, Tim Tracey.
  • The Joy Post Award: Spectres of Shortwave, Amanda Dawn.
  • The Newfoundland Joy Award: The Machine, Liz Solo.