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Women win big at San Sebastian Film Festival

SAN SEBASTIAN — Women were the big winners at the final night of the San Sebastian Film Festival on Saturday, which saw American actress Jessica Chastain share the top acting prize with 16-year-old Danish actress Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl.

Romanian movie “Blue Moon” took the Golden Shell for best film at the 69th edition of Spain’s biggest film festival.

The festival’s first ever gender-neutral acting award, for best leading performance, was awarded jointly to Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and Hofmann Lindahl for her role in “As in Heaven.”

“How exciting is it this year to celebrate two female performances, it blows my mind,” Chastain said.

In “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” two-time Oscar nominee Chastain depicts the rise and fall of Christian televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, a role that is already generating Oscar buzz for the star.

Tea Lindeburg won the Silver Shell for best director for “As in Heaven,” an unflinching look at motherhood in the 19th century told through the eyes of a teenage girl. “Blue Moon” is the feature debut of Romanian director Alina Grigore and follows a young woman trying to escape from an abusive rural home.

Other big winners were Claire Mathon, who won best cinematography for French thriller “Undercover,” and French-Bosnian director Lucile Hadzihalilovic, who won the festival’s special prize for her film, the surreal “Earwig.”

Tatiana Huezo won best Latin American film for “Prayers for the Stolen.”

Celine Sciamma took the main audience award for “Petite Maman,” while Emmanuel Carrere’s “Between Two Worlds” starring Juliette Binoche, won the audience award for best European film.

The lone male winner in the individual categories was British director Terence Davies, who won best screenplay for his Siegfried Sassoon biopic, “Benediction.”

(Reporting by Vincent West; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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