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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Hong Kong's Wang wins film prize
Wayne Wang
"I think films need to breathe, like us," said award-winner Wang
A low-budget film by Hong Kong-born director Wayne Wang has won the best film and best actor awards at Spain's annual San Sebastian film festival.

The movie, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, was about the tensions that arise when a Beijing widower visits his recently-divorced daughter in the US.

It was based on a short story by the same name by award-winning author Yiyun Li.

"It was a small film that needed a lot of time to be done," Wang said.

"I think films need to breathe, like us," he added, and commenting on the film's low budget, he said: "Not every story has to have Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie."

Veteran actor

Wang, 58, who was named after his father's favourite actor, John Wayne, also directed the 2002 film Maid in Manhattan, starring Jennifer Lopez.

He made The Last Holiday in 2006 with Queen Latifah and 1993's The Joy Luck Club.

His was one of 16 films competing for the Golden Shell prize for best film at the oldest and most prestigious film festival in the Spanish-speaking world.

The best actor prize went to Chinese-American character actor Henry O, 79.

O has also appeared in several US television series including The Sopranos, ER and The West Wing and films such as Rush Hour 3 and The Last Emperor.

The head of the jury deciding the prizes was US author and director Paul Auster.

He and Wang worked together on the 1995 independent film Smoke and its sequel, Blue in the Face.

US actor Richard Gere and Swedish actress Liv Ullmann were also given Donostia lifetime achievement awards at the 10-day festival.

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