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‘Album’ tops Shanghai fest

Tatsuya takes Jinjue actor award

Japanese helmer Mitsuhiro Mihara’s “The Village Album,” a film with strong resonance in China, won the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, which wrapped over the weekend.

The father-and-son drama concerning a region about to be flooded by a new dam earned Tatsuya Fuji the Jinjue award for actor.

China has earned the wrath of environmental groups and citizens for its massive dam-building program.

Denmark’s Rumle Hammerich won director honors for “Young Andersen,” and Stuart Dryburgh was named cinematographer for New Zealand drama “In My Father’s Den.”

Two local pictures also won top prizes. Drama, “Gimme Kudos,” a late entrant to the competition, picked up the jury prize and screenplay award for director-scripter Huang Jiangxin, while thesp Vicky Zhao Wei won actress for modern day “Romeo and Juliet” story “A Time to Love.”

The festival’s rep may have been dented earlier this year when the State Administration for Radio, Film & Television threatened to downgrade the event to a “local” festival.

But the growing importance of China as a market helped attract upscale foreign visitors. These included Gareth Wigan, vice chairman for international productions at Columbia TriStar; Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein; German helmer Volker Schloendorff; and Pusan festival chief Kim Dong-ho. Visiting stars included Jackie Chan, Brendan Fraser, Joan Chen and Morgan Freeman.

Fest chief Chen Xiaomeng said it notched up a B.O. of 7 million yuan ($850,000), beating last year’s $725,000.

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