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Film festival awards prize to Korean-Uzbek director

TAIPEI -- Korean-Uzbek director Ruslan Pak nabbed the grand prize in the best international new talent category at the Taipei Film Festival for his film about third generation Koreans in Uzbekistan.

“Hanaan,” about a Korean-Uzbek detective who tries to avenge the drug-fueled death of his friend, beat 11 other films to receive one of the festival's top prizes, which came with a cash award of NT$600,000 (US$20,114).

Another top prize at the competition — the Special Jury Prize — went to “Beyond the Hill,” a film about a Turkish family in crisis by Turkish director Emin Alper, who received NT$300,000.

Veteran director Wang Tung, who chaired a panel of five judges, said it was “especially difficult” to select the top winners this year as each film was excellent. He said it took up to four rounds of voting for the judges to make the final decision.

Judges praised “Hanaan” for being “full of strength, simple yet strong,” and its story for being “incredibly truthful.”

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