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2 share top Tokyo prize

'Silence,' 'Circle take home kudos

TOKYO — The 10th Tokyo est picture award.

The German film “Beyond Silence,” from director Caroline Link, and “Perfect Circle,” from the Sarajevo-born director Ademir Kenovic, each took home the Grand Prix.

Kenovic was named best director for his film about two orphaned boys given refuge by a poet and his wife in Sarajevo.

“Beyond Silence,” the story of a girl who serves as her deaf parents’ bridge to the hearing world, is the first feature from the Link, who shared the award for best screenplay with the film’s co-author Beth Serlin.

Hometown favorite Koji Yakusho took home the best actor award for the role of a homicide detective stalking a psychotic killer in “Cure.” The best actress award was given to Tseng Jing and Rene Liu for the Taiwanese film “Murmur of Youth.”

The Young Cinema Competition was won by Iranian director Parviz Shahbazi for his film “The Traveler from the South,” the tale of a teenage boy who tries to raise money for an elderly woman’s heart operation.

The fest’s attendance reached 140,000. Much of the hoopla for the fest had little to do with the films in competition. Media attention was primarily focused on the world premiere of James Cameron’s megabudget and much delayed “Titanic.” The film set sail on Nov. 1 to a capacity crowd of 2,200 and was given high marks by Japanese critics.

Among the notables who came to Tokyo were Cameron, “Titanic” star Leonardo DiCaprio, “Air Force One’s” Harrison Ford and Wolfgang Petersen, and James Spader from “Two Days in Valley.”

China’s ongoing battle with Hollywood over its recent spate of productions about Beijing’s suppression of Tibetan autonomy spread to the festival. The Chinese government pulled two films from the event because it screened “Seven Years in Tibet.”

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