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Magnolias bloom in television's big night
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The 14th Shanghai Television Festival closed the curtain with an evening of glitz Friday night as the coveted Magnolia awards were handed out at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong.

Zhang Guoli and Jiang Wenli, the Magnolia best actor and actress in a TV series, look pleased at the closing ceremony of the 14th Shanghai Television Festival on Friday night. They won for their performances as a couple in Golden Wedding.

Top television productions and a long list of producers, directors, actors and animators were honored.

The festival began last Monday and more than 60 entries from home and abroad were vying for awards.

Let's Go to the Movies Tomorrow, produced by Akson Studio and TVP SA-Film Agency, earned the Magnolia for best TV film. It is a romantic story of high-school students who received their diplomas in May of 1938.

John Alexander, who helmed Sense and Sensibility, won the Magnolia for best TV film director.

Jury Duty from France won the best screenplay award for TV film.

Best actor went to Alessio Boni for his performance in Italian TV movie Caravaggio, and actress Hattie Morahan, who played the lead role in Sense and Sensibility, was named best actress.

In the TV series category, China's Jiang Wenli earned the best actress award for her role in Golden Wedding.

"The production team was outstanding - I will never forget the four months I spent with the team," Jiang said.

Zhang Guoli won best actor for Golden Wedding. He said: "I have played roles in TV series for 26 years and it means a lot to win the award as China celebrates the 50th anniversary of its TV industry."

It was a case of triple treat for Golden Wedding as director Zheng Xiaolong also received a Magnolia.

Soldiers' Sortie won the awards for both best TV series and screenplay. Things you Think: Poor and Rich from Germany received the top award for foreign animation, while Big-eared Tutu Season II took the best Chinese animation award.

The best natural documentary award went to Ganges - Water Land from Britain; the best social documentary was won by Hong, a China-Germany co-production; the best history and biography documentary award was taken out by The Rape of Nanking, a French production; and the best Asian documentary award went to The Secret in the Satchel from Taiwan.

Achieving the Unachievable from Canada won the special jury award inthe documentary category.

(Shanghai Daily June 16, 2008)

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