Persepolis, the animated story of an Iranian girl growing up in Tehran in the '70s and '80s, has earned yet another prize as the jury at the Starz Denver Film Festival gave it the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Feature Film on Saturday.

Co-directors Marjane Satrapi (who drew the graphic novel on which it's based) and Vincent Paronnaud must be having trouble clearing space on the mantle by now, as the film already won top prizes at Cannes, London, and Vancouver. It's also France's official submission for Oscar's foreign-language category, and it's a contender for the animation prize, too. Not bad for a cartoon about Iran's political revolutions!

The 30th annual Denver fest ended Saturday with the awards ceremony. The documentary prize went to Michael Chandler's Knee Deep, about an attempted matricide in rural Maine. The Emerging Filmmaker Award went to Stephane Gauger for Owl and the Sparrow, about three disaffected people in modern Saigon -- a previous winner of jury prizes at the Heartland Film Festival and San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Fest.

Like most festivals, Starz Denver gives audience-voted prizes, too, and like most festivals, those winners are completely different from the jury's picks. The audience chose Patricia Riggen's immigration drama Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) as best feature; you'll have a chance to see it next spring, as The Weinstein Co. bought distribution rights for it at Sundance. (Here's Jette Kernion's review from when it played at the Austin Film Festival.)

The audience's pick for best documentary was A Walk to Beautiful (directed by Amy Bucher and Mary Olive Smith), about five Ethiopian women in search of help for a humiliating medical condition.

But back to Persepolis. This thing is a juggernaut! Having finally seen it, I'm glad to say it's worth quite a bit of the praise it's been getting (including from Cinematical's James Rocchi and Kim Voynar). It opens in limited release on Christmas, so we'll be able to see then whether the general public responds to it as favorably as everyone else has.
categories Awards, Cinematical