Tokyo: France's 'Amanda' Wins Grand Prix and Best Screenplay

Courtesy of Venice International Film Festival
'Amanda'

'Vice of Hope', a story of prostitution and human trafficking set in Naples, wins best director and best actress, while Ralph Fiennes' Nureyev biopic 'The White Crow' wins best artistic contribution.

Mikhael Hers' Amanda, a family drama about the aftermath of a Paris terror attack, won the Grand Prix and $50,000, along with best screenplay, at the 31st Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) on Friday.

Featuring Vincent Lacoste as a young man whose life is torn apart when his sister, played by Ophelia Kolb, is killed, leaving him to care for her injured young daughter (Isaure Multrier). The film premiered at the Venice film fest in August and Hers had left Tokyo before the award was presented.

"I wanted to tell a story of modern Paris — its beauty, its weakness and its tragedy. Acts of terror have actually occurred in Paris, so I wanted to depict that," said Hers after a screening at the fest.

Tale of Neapolitan prostitution and human trafficking Vice of Hope (Il vizio della Speranza) won best director for Edoardo De Angelis and best actress for his wife Pina Turco, who also appeared in Gomorrah, the 2008 Camorra mob movie set in the same world.

Before the Frost, set against a background of rural poverty in 19th century Denmark, won the Jury Award and $20,000 for writer-director Michael Noer (Papillon) and best actor for Jesper Christensen (Casino Royale). Noer accepted both awards.

Both Vice of Hope and Before the Frost screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at Toronto, the other TIFF, in September.

The White Crow, the Ralph Fiennes-directed biopic of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, which focuses on his defection from the USSR, won best artistic contribution.

"Nureyev was an egotistical man who would take friendships when he needed them. It's one of the aspects of his personality that is arguably not attractive. But I felt that there was a pure spirit within him, despite these ugly aspects," said Fiennes before the film, which bowed at Telluride in Colorado in September, screened at the fest. Fiennes had left Tokyo before the ceremony.

Junji Sakamoto's Another World won the audience award, while A First Farewell by China's Lina Wang took the Asian Future Best Film Award.

In a change from previous years, the fest will continue for a day after the award ceremony, with the winning films and closer Godzilla: The Planet Eater showing on Saturday.

TIFF screened 181 films, 50 fewer than last year, but audience numbers were largely unchanged at 62,125, not including tomorrow's films.