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‘Amanda’ Claims Tokyo Festival Grand Prize

The Mikhael Hers-directed drama “Amanda,” about a man who ends up caring for his seven-year-old niece when her mother is killed, was awarded the Tokyo Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival’s closing ceremony today. The film also took the best screenplay award in the festival 31st edition, which runs Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

Amanda” premiered in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival. But it left without a prize. It will release in Japan next year, through distributor Bitters End, the director said in a video message.

The second-place special jury prize went to Michael Noer’s “Before the Frost.” Unfolding in the 19th Century Danish countryside, the film previously screened in the contemporary world cinema section at Toronto.

Italy’s Edoardo De Angelis was named best director for “The Vice of Hope,” a drama set in the Naples sex industry. The best actress honors went to Pina Turco, who played a trafficker of surrogate mothers in “The Vice of Hope.” Meanwhile, Jesper Christensen received the best actor award for his performance as a hard-bitten farmer in “Before the Frost.”

Among other prizes were the award for best artistic contribution, given to Ralph Fiennes’ “The White Crow,” and the audience award, scooped by Junji Sakamoto’s friendship drama “Another World,” one of two local films in competition.

In the Asian Future section for new Asian films “A First Farewell,” the feature debut by China’s Lina Wang, won the best film award, while in the Japanese Cinema Splash section for local indie films another first-timer, Katsumi Nojiri, took best film honors for “Lying to Mom.” The best director prize was split by Masaharu Take for “The Gun” and Seiji Tanaka for “Melancholic.”

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