Osaka Fest Rewards Philippines, Korea Titles

HONG KONG – The Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan wrapped on Sunday with its top prize going to “Shift” by Philippines director Siege Ledesma.

The jury said that films from South Korea and The Philippines stood out, and that it had awarde the Grand Prize to “Shift” for the “its simplicity, honestly and its integrity for pushing boundaries.” The film is the story of a tomboy call center operative and an openly gay co-worker.

The festival (March 7-16, 2014) had an 11 title competition section and played 43 films in total.

Other prizes went to Korea’s Ha Jung-woo, director of “Fasten Your Seatbelt” as most promising new talent; a special mention to anther Philippines director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo for “Anita’s Last Cha Cha,” and to Hong Kong’s Carina Lau as best actress, in “Bends.”

The audience award went to “Kano,” the Taiwanese period film about a Taiwanese baseball team that beat Japanese occupying forces in the 1930s, and which had been set as the festival’s opening picture.

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