Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Japanese film tops Montreal fest

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.

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