Judges have awarded the best US drama prize to immigrant film Padre Nuestro (Our Father) in Utah.

The movie, which describes the experience of a young Mexican immigrant seeking his father in New York, was one of two Latin American independent films doing well at the independent film awards.

Manda Bala (Send A Bullet), a documentary about crime and corruption in modern-day Brazil, won the prize for best documentary.

Also doing well in Utah was Grace Is Gone, starring John Cusack. The film, which tells the story of a father who avoids telling his children that their mother has died while serving in Iraq, won the audience award for best film. Its screenwriter, James Strouse, also won an award.

The world cinema prize was handed to an Israeli film, Sweet Mud, based on the experiences of director Dror Shaul in southern Israel in the 1970s.

"The films in this year's program have opened up the possibilities of what independent film can be and will be in the future," Geoffrey Gilmore, the festival's director, commented.

"The 2007 award-winners reflect the talent, diversity, and evolution of independent film and exemplify the artistic power of film to illuminate and explore issues that are prevalent in our global society," he added.

28/01/2007 11:57:39