Tibetan Tale ‘Tharlo’ wins Tokyo Filmex Grand Prize

"Tharlo" by director Pema Tseden
Courtesy of Heaven Pictures, Asian Shadows

TOKYO — “Tharlo,” Tibetan director Pema Tseden’s drama about a shepherd’s encounter with the big city and love, was Saturday awarded the Grand Prize at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Filmex (Nov. 21-29.)

The film premiered in this year’s Venice Orrizonte section and was later screened the Busan International Film Festival. The jury chairman was Busan festival director Lee Young-kwan.

The special jury prize went to Chinese director Zhao Liang’s drama “Behemoth” about migrant workers in Inner Mongolia. Special mentions were given to Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Sri Lankan ensemble drama “Dark in the White Light” and Yosuke Okuda’s underworld crime drama “The Dork, the Girl and the Douchebag,” the only Japanese entry in the 10-film Competition.

The festival, which specializes in Asian, Japanese and European arthouse fare, opened with Sion Sono’s “The Whispering Star” and closed with Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains  May Depart.” Special sections were devoted to French comedy master Pierre Etaix and Taiwanese directors Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang.

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