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September 8, 2003 2:00 AM
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Miramax Gets Venice Winner "Zatoichi," Other Honorees Unveiled in Italy

Miramax Gets Venice Winner "Zatoichi," Other Honorees Unveiled in Italy

by Eugene Hernandez



A scene from Takeshi Kitano's "Zatoichi," which screened at the 2003 Venice Film Festival.


Miramax has acquired Takeshi Kitano's latest film, "Zatoichi," which won the Asian auteur the Silver Lion for best director as the Venice Film Festival closed this weekend. The film also won the audience award at the Italian festival. The event's top prize, the Golden Lion, went to Andrey Zvyagintsev's "The Return," a first feature from the Russian director. The film also won the Luigi De Laurentiis award for a first film.

Kitano, who previously directed "Hana-bi," "Sonatine," and "Brother," costars in the new film with Tadanobu Asano. Masayuki Mori produced for Office Kitano. In the film, Kitano portrays a blind swordsman who rescues a village that is run by gangsters and samurai.

The best actor prize in Venice this year went to Sean Penn for his role in Focus Features' "21 Grams," while the best actress award went to Katja Riemann for her role in "Rosenstrasse." Both films, along with Kitano's latest and "The Return," are screening here in Toronto. Prizes in other categories were also announced.

Official Awards of the 60th Mostra (list provided by the festival)

-- Venezia 60

Golden Lion for the best film: "The Return" by Andrej Zvjagintsev

Jury Grand Prix, Silver Lion to: "Le Cerf-Volant" by Randa Chahal Sabbag

Special Director's Award, Silver Lion to Takeshi Kitano for "Zatoichi"

Award for an Outstanding Individual Contribution to Marco Bellocchio for the screenplay of "Buongiorno"

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor to Sean Penn in "21 Grams" by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress to Katja Riemann in "Rosenstrasse" by Margarethe von Trotta

"Marcello Mastroianni" Award for Best Young Actor or Actress to Najat Benssallem in "Raja" by Jacques Doillon

Short Films

Silver Lion for best short film to "Neft" (The Oil) by Murad Ibragimbekov

UIP Award for Best European Short Film to "The Trumouse Show" by Julio Robledo

Special Mention to "Hochbetrieb" by Andreas Krein "for having paid a tribute to Harold Lloyd, who shall not be forgotten, by means of modern technology "

-- Controcorrente (Upstream)

San Marco Prize to the film "Vodka Lemon" by Hiner Saleem

Special Director's Award to Michael Schorr for "Schultze Gets the Blues"

Upstream Prize for Best Actor to Asano Tadanobu in "Last Life in The
Universe" by Pen-ek Ratanaruang

Upstream Prize for Best Actress to Scarlett Johansson in "Lost in
Translation" by Sofia Coppola

Special Mention to "La Quimera de Los Heroes" by Daniel Rosenfeld

-- "Luigi De Laurentiis" Award for a First Film

"The Return" by Andrei Zvjagintsev

And two special mentions to

"The Last Train" by Aleksej German

"Ballo A Tre Passi" by Salvatore Mereu

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