The first round of awards were handed out at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with writer-director Jeff Nichols walking away as the big winner.
The top prize of the Critic's Week, which seeks to "showcase first and second feature films by directors from all over the world," went to Nichols' film "Take Shelter," starring Michael Shannon as a man whose haunting dreams drive him to build a storm shelter in his family's backyard. Nichols also won the SACD prize for best screenwriting.
The film co-stars the suddenly ubiquitous Jessica Chastain ("Tree of Life") as Shannon's wife, who begins to worry about her his stability. "Take Shelter" will be releasing the film Oct. 7.
The Australian film "Snowtown," about a teenage boy who unwittingly befriends a notorious serial killers, which took Special Distinction of the President.
From Argentina, "Las Acacias," about a truck driver who must transport a pregnant woman 900 miles across country, was honored with the Very Young Critic Award and the CID/CCAS Award from the Association of Independent Cinema for Distribution.
The big awards at Cannes will be meted out on Sunday.