'Breathless' takes top prize at Filmex

Korean film called 'a fusion of several genres and emtoions'

TOKYO -- “Breathless,” the debut feature from Korea’s Yang Ik-june took the 1 million yen ($11,500) Grand Prize and the Audience Award on the final day of the Tokyo Filmex festival on Sunday.

The jury praised “Breathless” as having, “achieved a very difficult chemistry in films; a fusion of several genres and emotions, sometimes extreme” in its examination of societal violence in Korea.

Yang wrote, directed, produced and starred in the story of a violent loan shark that has been a favorite on the indie festival circuit this year.

The Special Jury Award Prize of $8,000 worth of Kodak film went to “No One Knows About Persian Cats” from Iran’s Bahman Ghobadi.

The story of underground musicians in Tehran also won the special jury prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year.

Filmex, which concentrates on emerging Asian filmmaking talent, ran from November 21 to 29 for its tenth edition.