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Gu's debut 'Peacock' snatches Silver Bear
Updated: 2005-02-21 09:36

Peacock, the directing debut for renowned cinematographer Gu Changwei, was awarded the Jury Grand Prix award at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.

Director Gu Changwei and his wife Jiang Wenli, a famous actress [file photo]
The Wayward Cloud, another Chinese film by Taiwan director Cai Mingliang, claimed the Silver Bear for outstanding achievement.

The top prize, the Golden Bear award, went to South African film U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, which sets Georges Bizet¡¯s opera Carmen against the hardship of a modern-day township. The Xhosa-language film directed by Mark Dornford-May and starring Pauline Malefane received the Golden Bear for the best film in the competition for its classic story of passionate love set amid the struggles of life in a South African township.

It was the first feature film to be made in Xhosa, a language which features clicking sounds and the first African movie to win Berlin's coveted Golden Bear.

Its victory underlines the renaissance of African films and African themes in cinema, with Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April both bringing the horror of the 1994 genocide to Berlin¡¯s screens this year.

"We wanted to put Africa on the map and we certainly did that," said Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick. "We will be expecting more African films (at the Berlinale)."

Gu Changwei (1L) poses a photo with the filming crew of "Peacock" after being awarded the Jury Grand Prix award at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday. [sohu]

Best actress went to a German, Julia Jentsch, who plays the title role in Sophie Scholl ¡ª The Final Days.

Marc Rothemunds won best director for the story of the iconic member of the anti-Nazi resistance who was beheaded with her brother following their arrests for leafleting.

The jury, headed by Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, chose Lou Taylor Pucci as best actor for his role as an insecure teenager in the U.S. film Thumbsucker.

Paradise Now, a German, French and Dutch co-production from director Hany Abu-Assad that follows 28 hours in the lives of two Palestinian suicide bombers, was voted best European film.

A formal awards ceremony was held Saturday.

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