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Mexico’s ‘Beginning of Time’ Wins Top Beijing Festival Prize

Mexican drama “Beginning of Time” (aka “El Comienzo del Tiempo”) was named as best film at the Beijing International Film Festival (April 16-23). Its Tiantan award was presented jointly by jury president Luc Besson and Chinese superstar Jackie Chan.

Four-part story “Children” (aka “Deti”) from Slovakia and the Czech Republic claimed a trio of prizes: for best cinematography, screenplay, and for Eva Bandor’s performance, which earned her the supporting actress prize.

Best director was Jean-Jacques Annaud, the Frenchman who recently completed “Wolf Totem,” a Chinese-French co-production about post-Cultural Revolution life in Mongolia. The film, which was released in time for Chinese New Year in mid-February, also picked up the prize for best visual effects.

“The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” the other Chinese-produced hit that appeared in competition, earned a solitary award, for Tony Leung Kar-fai as best supporting actor. The main acting prizes – for best actor and actress — went to Artem Tsypin for “A White White Night,” and to Yuliya Peresild for “The Battle For Sevastopol,” respectively. The music prize went to Germany’s “Gruber Geht.”

The films competing for the awards, and a quartet of gala titles, were selected by former Locarno, Venice and Rome festival head Marco Mueller.

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