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Majidi wins jury award in Montreal Film Festival

Sept 7, 1999, MONTREAL (Variety) - For the first time in the 23-year history of the Montreal World Film Festival, a director has won the event's top prize for a second time.

``The Color of Paradise,'' from Iranian writer-director Majid Majidi was awarded the Grand Prix of the Americas at the closing ceremonies Monday; there were no major multiple winners.

``Paradise'' -- formerly titled ``The Color of God'' -- is a story about an 8-year-old blind boy who returns with his father, a poor coal worker, to his home village in the northern highlands of Iran.

The film revolves around the boy's fascination with nature and his dad's quest for a new bride.

Two years ago, Majidi's ``The Children of Heaven'' also won the Grand Prix of the Americas in Montreal, and the film, which was released by Miramax in the U.S., garnered an Oscar nomination this year in the foreign-language film category.

The Special Grand Prix of the Jury was awarded to Italian director Giuseppe Piccioni's ``

Not Of This World,'' a tale of a young nun whose life is shaken up when she's handed an infant baby, and American director Hampton Fancher's ``The Minus Man,'' an offbeat indie offering starring Owen Wilson, Brian Cox, and Janeane Garofalo.

Montreal writer-director Louis Belanger was awarded the prize as best director for his first film, ``Post Mortem,'' a dark story that touches on sex, violent crime, necrophilia, and romantic love.

The award for best actress went to Nina Hoss for her role in the German period piece ``The Volcano,'' and the actor nod went to veteran Japanese actor Ken Takakura for his turn as a small-town station master in ``Poppoya.''


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