'Eastern Plays' wins Tokyo's top prize

Bulgarian drama also takes best director, best actor

TOKYO -- Bulgaria’s “Eastern Plays” was the big winner at the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival, as it took the Sakura Grand Prix for best film, best director for Kamen Kalev, and best actor for Christo Christov, at the closing ceremony on Sunday

The $50,000 prize for “Eastern Plays,” the tale of two disaffected brothers in Sofia’s housing projects, was announced by jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Babel”).

The Winds of Asia section was won by “A Brand New Life,” the debut by French-Korean filmmaker, Ounie Lecomte, who began her acceptance speech with an apology for speaking French while accepting the Asian section award.

Tetsuaki Maki’s “Live Tape” won the Japanese Eyes Award for upcoming domestic directors, with his 80-minute, one tape, one-take, film.

The Toyota Earth Grand Prix for the film that best expressed the fest’s ecological theme went to “Wolf” from France’s Nicolas Vanier. France was also represented by Xabi Molia’s “Eight Times Up,” for which Julie Gayet took the best actress gong.

The Special Jury Prize went to Sebastian Cordero’s “Rabia” (Spain-Colombia), and the audience award went to Canadian comedy, “The Trotsky” by Jacob Tierney.

The 22nd TIFF ended its nine-day run with a screening of Pixar’s “Up,” followed by the Grand Prix winner.