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German Movie Top Dog at Shanghai Film Festival
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The German film According to Plan went away with the Golden Goblet award as the 10th Shanghai International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday night at the city's Grand Theater.

The stars turned out in style for the award ceremony with such recognizable faces as Gong Li, or Jackie Chan rubbing shoulders on the red carpet.

The German production tells the tragic-comic story of three sisters who return to their home village to celebrate their mother's birthday, a seemingly ordinary event which reveals itself to be completely different than anticipated.

"The film is about planning and the feelings of ordinary people," said director Franziska Meletzky. "We're very proud of this win."

Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige, presiding over the festival's jury panel, said, "The truth of life has been expressed through laughs and tears in this film."

Corinna Harfouch, Dagmar Manzel, Kirsten Block and Christine Schorn, who play the three sisters and their elderly mother, were also awarded a joint best-actress title. "It is a big moment for us," Schorn said in delight.

The best actor gong went to young Spanish actor Juan Ballesta for his impressive performance in the film Doghead. Ballesta gives a gripping performance as a teenager who has suffered from a strange neurological disease since childhood.

The last of the major awards, that of best director, stayed on home turf going to Chinese film maker Tian Zhuangzhuang for his biopic of Wu Qingyuan, a master of Go.

Best cinematography went to Chinese photographer Wang Yu, who also worked on The Go Master. The best screenplay award was attributed to Israel's Shemi Zarhin for Aviva My Love while Isao Tomita's excellent score for the Japanese film Love and Honor saw him declared winner of the best music award.

The Jury Grand Prix was given to The New Man, a Sweden-Finland co-production by Klaus Haro, which depicts the fight of a young Swedish woman against enforced sterilization in the 1950s.

The jury panel also dedicated a special award to Chinese director Yin Li's film The Knot for its habile telling of a beautiful love story using classic emotions.

After the award ceremony, acclaimed film maker Hou Hsiao-hsien presented his latest effort Looking for the Red Balloon as the festival's closing film.

This year's race for the Golden Goblet was a truly international one as sixteen films from over 10 countries and regions were in the running during the nine-day event.

(Shanghai Daily June 25, 2007)

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