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Chinese directors win top prizes at Marrakesh film festival

By AFP 11 December 2016   |   1:27 pm
(From L) Chinese director Zang Donor, Icelandic actor Blaer Hinriksson, Afghan actress Fereshteh Hosseini, Danish actor Baldur Einarsson, Chinese producer Wang Zijian and Austrian director Rainer Frimmel pose for a picture with they trophies during the 14th edition of the Marrakech International Film festival, on December 10, 2016 in Marrakech. FADEL SENNA / AFP

(From L) Chinese director Zang Donor, Icelandic actor Blaer Hinriksson, Afghan actress Fereshteh Hosseini, Danish actor Baldur Einarsson, Chinese producer Wang Zijian and Austrian director Rainer Frimmel pose for a picture with they trophies during the 14th edition of the Marrakech International Film festival, on December 10, 2016 in Marrakech.<br />FADEL SENNA / AFP

Two Chinese filmmakers won the top awards at the Marrakesh film festival this weekend, with Zang Qiwu’s “The Donor” on the controversial issue of organ transplants taking the coveted Golden Star.

The best director award went to China’s Wang Xuebo for “Knife in the Clear Water”.

Fourteen films competed in the annual festival but the top prize was Saturday handed to “The Donor” a drama about a poor father forced to sell his kidney to look after his family.

Both Zang and Wang, seen as up and rising filmmakers, had also taken the two main prizes at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea in October.

Zang has long worked alongside acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou but “The Donor” was his first work as a director and portrayed the tragedies that come with organ transplants.

“Knife in the Clear Water”, also Wang’s first feature film, tells the story of a farmer and the realities of life in a mountain village.

The Jury Prize at the festival was awarded to “Mister Universo” a film co-directed by Italian Tizza Covi and Austrian Rainer Frimmel.

Best actress award went to Fereshteh Hosseini for her performance in the film “Parting” of Afghan director Navid Mahmoudi.

Baldur Einarsson and Blaer Hinriksson shared the best actor award for their roles in the Icelandic movie “Heartstone” of director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson.

Hungarian director Bela Tarr presided over the jury at this year’s festival, which paid a special tribute to Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami who died in July.

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