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‘Crocodile’ takes Grand Prize at Filmex

TOKYO (TR) – The 15th Tokyo Filmex festival on Saturday awarded its Grand Prize to Filipino director Francis Xavier Pasion’s drama “Crocodile.”

“Crocodile,” which is based on a true events of a woman searching through wetlands for the body of her daughter, topped a field of nine films in the “Competition” section.

“This is the first international competition this film has been to,” said Xavier Pasion at the award ceremony at Yurakucho Asahi Hall in Chuo Ward. “I’m very honored.”

The director also received 700,000 yen in prize money.

Billing itself as a festival “for the bright future of cinema,” the nine-day screened nearly 30 current and classic films at three theaters in the Yurakucho area by lesser-known directors primarily from Asia and the Middle East.

The Special Jury Prize went to “Next to Her,” Israeli Asaf Korman’s debut about the troubled relationship of two sisters in Haifa. Korman said he had no aspirations of winning a prize prior while conceiving the project.

“Our wildest dream was just getting finance,” said Korman of his film, which screened in the “Directors’ Fortnight” section of this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. “We were worried that an Israeli film that doesn’t deal with the political situation in Israel wouldn’t be successful.”