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Flurry of prizes for ‘Snow’ in Tokyo

Sato, Bonham Carter, Ya-gin take home acting honors

The Tokyo Intl. Film Festival wrapped on Sunday with hometown helmer Kichitaro Negishi picking up the director award as well as the $100,000 Sakura Grand Prix for “What the Snow Brings.”

Koichi Sato snatched actor honors for his perf as the owner of a racing stable who helps his failed businessman brother restart his life.

Actress award was shared between Helena Bonham Carter for “Conversations With Other Women” and 84 year-old Chinese thesp Jin Ya-gin for “You and Me.”

“Conversations” also nabbed the Special Jury Prize and helmer Hans Canosa collected the $20,000 payday.

“All these decisions were made unanimously,” said jury chair Zhang Yimou. “I’ve been on many film fest juries and this is the first time I’ve been able to experience that.”

Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien received the Akira Kurosawa Prize, a lifetime achievement award that began last year, and pocketed $100,000.

The TIFFCOM market, now in its second year, was less successful.

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Sandwiched between Korea’s Pusan and the American Film Market in Santa Monica, TIFFCOM suffered as sellers were clearly holding back for the American event.

Richard Jeffery, the Asian rep for Distant Horizon, and a buyer with much experience in the Japanese market, commented the event saw “sellers with little interest in selling, several booths unmanned from the second day, and very few buyers. The halls were empty by the second day.”

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