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June 24, 2013

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Russian 'Major' earns best film, Cheung best actor as festival ends

THE Russian film "The Major" proved to be the biggest winner of the Golden Goblet award as the curtain fell on the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival at the Shanghai Culture Square last night.

The drama, a feature directorial debut of the 32-year-old Russian filmmaker Yury Bykov, earned the top best film award. Bykov, also the film's composer and leading actor, received the best director award and an award for outstanding artistic achievement in the category of original score.

The film is about a police major who calls on his police buddies to help him hush up an accident after he hits a child on the road. But his colleagues go too far and cause many innocent people's deaths.

The film's producer, Alexey Uchitel, received the awards on behalf of Bykov, who missed the awards ceremony because of work schedule.

"I believe people really enjoy the movie and feel something about the movie," he said. "It is a film made for all of you."

Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung won the best actor award for his impressive portrayal of a middle-aged, broken man who was once a boxing champion, in the Hong Kong film "Unbeatable." Different from many heroic roles Cheung has portrayed on screen, the character in the film is a person living at the bottom of society.

"The award is a big encouragement for me," said Cheung. "I will make more effort in acting and try to do better."

Also, the 10-year-old Malaysian actress Crystal Lee's touching depiction of the boxing champ's little roommate won her the best actress award.

Lee, the youngest winner of the best actress award in the history of the Shanghai International Film Festival, greeted local audiences in Malay, English, Japanese and Cantonese.

Swedish scriptwriter Angus MacLachlan took the best screenplay award for the Swedish family drama "Reliance," which is about the suffering of an entire family after a 15-year-old daughter is raped.

Best cinematography award went to two photographers on "Reliance" - Vachan Sharma and Paul Dovan. The film also won the Jury Grand Prix.

This year 14 films selected from more than 1,600 entries were in final competition for the festival's top awards.

"Now You See Me," an American caper film directed by Louis Leterrier, closed the festival.


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