Japanese film tops Montreal fest

Tue Sep 2, 2008 1:40am EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Montreal World Film Festival on Monday gave its top jury prize to Japanese director Yojiro Takita's "Okuribito" (Departures), while the top audience awards went to Canadian documentary filmmaker Benoit Pilon's debut fiction drama "The Necessities of Life."

The Montreal jury, led by U.S. director Mark Rydell, gave the Grand Prix of the Americas prize to Takita's drama about an out-of-work cellist who leaves Tokyo to return to his hometown to become an undertaker.

Pilon's feature about an Inuit man suffering from tuberculosis in 1950s Quebec earned the most popular film nod, voted on by filmgoers, and the audience award for most popular Canadian film. The festival jury also gave it a special Grand Prix award.

Barbara Sukowa took the actress trophy for her star-turn in Ulla Wagner's "The Invention of Curried Sausage," while the actor award went to Eri Canete for his work on Walter Doehner's "Teo's Voyage," from Mexico.

The only U.S. film in competition was Matthew Wilder's "Your Name Here," the Bill Pullman-starrer loosely based on the life of sci-fi writer William J. Frick, which went home empty-handed.

In all, the 32nd edition of the festival unspooled 234 feature films during 11 days.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter