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Chinese film Western Trunk Line wins Tokyo award
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A still from the movie The Western Trunk Line.

The Western Trunk Line, a Chinese movie telling the story of a remote town at the end of 1970s, won the Special Jury Prize at the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival on Sunday.

"I have been thinking to make such a move since 1994," said director Li Jixian at the awards ceremony at Shibuya's Bunkamura, Tokyo. "I met a great many challenges in writing the screenplay, but I never thought of quitting."

The Band's Visit, a movie jointly produced by Israel and France, grabbed the "Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix" top prize. The film, directed by Eran Kolirin, tells a story of an Egyptian police band getting lost in Israel.

British film Dangerous Parking by Peter Howitt won the award for best director, while the Best Actress and Best Actor went to Shefali Shah (India, Gandhi My Father) and Damian UI (Poland, Tricks) respectively.

Director Li Jixi gives a speech upon receiving the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival, October 28, 2007.

Two popular films in the competition sector, the festival's opening movie Crossing Over (Feng Huang), jointly produced by Japan and China, as well as the US movie Reign Over Me featuring a post-September 11th story, did not win any awards.

The winner of the Grand Prix will be awarded US$50,000, while other prizes in the competition categories range from US$5,000 to US$20,000 each.

Also included in the festival is the Akira Kurosawa Award, established in 2004 at the annual film festival to commemorate the Japanese movie legend. David Puttnam, now president of UNICEF UK and former independent movie producer, won this year's Akira Kurosawa Award. He is famed for the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire, as well as The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, and other movies.

Leading actress Shen Jiani, screenwriter Li Wei, and director Li Jixian of The Western Trunk Line at the Tokyo International Film Festival, October 28, 2007.

During the 9-day film festival, over 300 films from various countries and regions have been shown in Shibuya, Roppongi, and other locations around Tokyo. A number of related events featuring animated films, Chinese movie week, Korean cinema week, "Tokyo in Focus," women's film festival, short films, internet movies, and others have also been staged.
(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2007)

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