'Sonata' hits right note at Cinefan fest

French, Israeli, Turkish productions take trophies

NEW DELHI -- Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata" was named best film at the 10th Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, which wrapped Sunday.

Best actor went to Amir Hakkar for French production "The Yellow House," while best actress was shared by co-stars Hiam Abbas and Rona Lipaz-Michael of Israel's "The Lemon Tree." Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan bagged best director for "Three Monkeys."

The audience award for best film went to "The Band's Visit" by Israeli director Eran Kolirin, about a displaced band of Egyptian police officers headed for a performance in Israel.

Other notable winners included "Ramchand Pakistani" by Pakistan's Mehreen Jabbar, about a low-caste Pakistani Hindu boy and his father who are accidentally captured by Indian authorities on the India-Pakistan border. It shared the FIPRESCI prize with Palestinian film "Salt of the Sea." Annemarie Jacir's "Sea" also bagged a special jury prize.

The festival awarded total prize money worth $250,000, with two lifetime achievement awards of $20,000 each, to veteran Indian filmmaker Mrinal Sen and writer Jose "Pete" F. Lacaba from the Philippines.