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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 August 2007, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Japanese film wins Locarno award
Masahiro Kobayashi holding award
Masahiro Kobayashi directed Golden Leopard-winning film The Rebirth
Japanese film Ai No Yokan (The Rebirth) has won the top prize at Switzerland's Locarno International Film Festival.

Directed by Masahiro Kobayashi, it is a love story about the mother of a murderer, and the father of the victim.

The best actor award was shared by Frenchman Michel Piccoli and Italian Michele Venitucci, while best actress was Marian Alvares of Spain.

British comedy Death at a Funeral, with real-life couple Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes, won the public prize.

It also features Trainspotting's Ewan Bremner and Kris Marshall from UK sitcom My Family.

Michel Piccoli
Michel Piccoli was "an obvious choice" for best actor, the jury said
The category was voted for by residents of Locarno, who have in the past picked films which went on to win Oscars.

British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins received an award for his work as director of Slipstream, in which he also starred as a tormented German writer.

And French director Philippe Ramos collected the prize for best script for Capitaine Achab (Captain Ahab), a loose adaptation of the whaling novel Moby Dick.

Piccoli's award-winning performance was as a dying man in the film Sous les Toits de Paris (Under Parisian Roofs).

Venitucci appeared in Fuori dalle Corde (Off the Ropes), a film about the world of illegal boxing.

Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes
Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes starred in TV drama Spooks
And Alvarez was recognised for her portrayal of a young woman fighting for her true love's life in Lo Mejor de mi (The Best of Me).

A jury chaired by Swiss actress Irene Jacob picked the winners for a ceremony which concluded Locarno's 60th international film festival.

Jacob described 81-year-old Piccoli as an "obvious choice" for best actor.

But she added that the prize had been shared because the six jurors felt the festival "must support young talent".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Clips from the winning film



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