City Of Life And Death wins top prize at San Sebastian

Hard-hitting tale of Rape Of Nanjing takes home Golden Shell.

by Amber Wilkinson

As the San Sebastian Film Festival drew to a close yesterday, Chinese film City Of Life And Death was awarded the Golden Shell for best film.

The film, directed by Lu Chan examines the Rape Of Nanjing - shifting perspectives between the Chinese and Japanese viewpoint. The film's distinctive black and white look created by Cao Yu also scooped a Jury Prize for best cinematography.

Francois Ozon, meanwhile, won a Special Jury prize for his examination of pregnancy and psychology, Le Refuge, with the jury saying they wished to recognise its "personal and sensitive cinematic experience" adding that "Francois Ozon presents his character's experience without judgement leaving each of us free to share it".

It was also a good night for home-based talent, with Yo, Tambien - a moving drama about a man with Down's Syndrome - winning the best actor and actress Silver Shells for Lolo Duenas and Pablo Pineda. The Silver Shell for direction also went to a Spaniard - Javier Rebollo - for La Mujer Sin Piano.

The Jury Prize for best screenplay was awarded to Andrew Bovell, Melissa Reeves, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas for Australian ensemble drama Blessed.

In a strong new director's field, the top gong went to Le Jour Ou Dieu Est Parte De La Voyage by Philippe Van Leeuw , with a special mention reserved for Matias Armand Jordal's Together (Sammen).

Rounding out the prizes in the Horizantes Latines section, was Uruguayan film Gigante by Adrian Biniez, while a special mention was given to Argentinian film Francia, directed by Israel Adrian Caetano.

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