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June 23, 2014

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Big awards showing from ‘Little England’

GREEK movie  “Little England” won the best feature film award as the curtain fell on the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival last night.

It was part of a hat-trick of Golden Goblet awards for the period drama, with Pantelis Voulgaris taking the best director award and Pinelopi Tsilika scooping the best actress award at the ceremony at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

The story of sisters from the Greek island of Andros — known as Little England because of its affluence — spans the interwar period through to the 1950s.

In a tragic love story, one sister marries a man she doesn’t love and several years later her lover comes back and marries her sister.

Voulgaris said it was a touching moment for him to receive the award.

“I am so lucky to have been born and to have grown up in Greece,” he said. “People in my country are good at telling beautiful stories. I spent a lot of years listening to those tiny but sweet stories.”

Tsilika said the honor was a great surprise to her and a boost for Greece, which has been hit by a debt crisis.

“This award is a big encouragement to all people who are devoted to the Greek film industry in such a difficult economic time,” she added.

The best actor award went to Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm for his portrayal of an executioner who is also a rock’n’roller in Thai movie “The Last Executioner.”

Pansringarm told the audience his son asked him to bring home Shanghai delicacy steamed buns, but was sure this prize would generate even bigger excitement.

Celebrated German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff, best-known for his Oscar-winning “The Tin Drum,” and Cyril Gely won the best screenplay award for their script for “Diplomacy,” a co-production by Germany and France.

American singer-songwriter Gregg Alexander, who wrote songs for musical romantic comedy “Begin Again,” won an award for outstanding artistic achievement in the category of original score.

Chinese photographer Luo Pan garnered the best cinematography award for domestic production “The Sacred Arrow.” Another Chinese film, “Uncle Victory” by Zhang Meng, won the Jury Grand Prix.

This year, 15 films were in final competition for the festival’s top awards.


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