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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 September, 2003, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Russian film wins Golden Lion
A father-and-son drama by first-time Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev called Vozvrashchenie (The Return) has won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (left) hugs actor Ivan Dobronravov
Zvyagintsev was shaken by a tragic death after filming
The film tells the story of two adolescent boys who are subjected to a harsh regime when their strict father returns after a 10-year absence.

But there was real-life tragedy shortly after filming ended when one of its stars, 15-year-old actor Vladimir Girin, drowned in the lake where some scenes were set.

The runner-up Grand Prix Silver Lion went to Lebanese-born Randa Chahal Sabbag's The Kite - a film about love and separation on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Japanese director Takeshi Kitano won best director for Zatoichi, about a blind swordsman in 19th Century Japan.

Other awards were:

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution: Marco Bellocchio for the script of Buongiorno, Notte (Good Morning, Night) - a film which revisits the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades;

  • Best Actor: Sean Penn in 21 Grams, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, about three people thrown together by an accident;

  • Best Actress: Katja Riemann in Rosenstrasse, which deals with the deportation of Jews in 1943 Berlin;

  • Best Young Actor or Actress: Najat Bessalem in Raja.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival - the oldest event of its kind.

The BBC's Ade Akintonwa
"It was an emotional evening"

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