The 7th Taipei Film Festivalconcluded today (July 9) with an awards ceremony weighted towards localdocumentary features.

The 15-day event opened on 25June with a new cut of Hou Hsiao-hsien's Three Times, with three linesof dialogue excised from the version that competed at Cannes. The only other Taiwanese narrativefeature to receive its domestic premiere was Wang Ming-tai's Falling...InLove.

The festival has threecompetitive sections: the Taipei Grand Award for local cinema, the Taipei ImageAward for DV shorts shot by non-professional citizens of the city, and the NewTalent Competition, an award introduced this year for narrative features byfirst- or second-time directors of any nationality.

The festival's main prize,the $30,000 Taipei Grand Award, went to Yen Lan-chun and Cres Juang's Let ItBe,a documentary about the daily lives of three elderly rice farmers in TainanCounty. The film, which also wonthe Press Award, had previously shared the top prize for local documentaries atthe 2004 Taiwan International Documentary Festival.

The Taipei Grand AwardAudience's Choice prize went to another documentary, Lin Yu-hsien's Jump!Boys. Lin's film focuses on agroup of young boy gymnasts and their coach as they train to compete for anational competition in the southern city of Kaohsiung. Jump! Boys also received aSpecial Mention from the jury.

Both Let It Be and Jump! Boys received theirtheatrical release before the festival.The former has grossed $125,000 to date in Taipei; the latter completedits run just before the start of the festival, grossing $75,000 in thecapital. Among local releases thisyear, only Tsai Ming-liang's The Wayward Cloud has taken more at the boxoffice.

With a pan-Chinese jurycomposed of directors Wang Tung, Clara Law, Fruit Chan, Lin Cheng-sheng and JiaZhangke, the Grand Prize of the New Talent Competition - announced mid-festival- appropriately went to a Russian feature, Marina Razbezhkina's absurdistfamily drama Harvest Time.

This year's festival had aspecial focus on the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, including a season ofnew Russian cinema, a retrospective of Lensfilm Studio and a closing gala ofTimur Bekmambetov's fantasy-horror Night Watch.

Ticket sales at the TaipeiFilm Festival crossed US$200,000 for the first time, bolstering the $530,000budget the festival receives from Taipei City Government, making the event aserious contender to Golden Horse as the city's pre-eminent film festival.---

Grand Prize: Let It Be (dir. Yen Lan-chun & Cres Juang)
Audience's Choice Award: Jump! Boys (dir: Lin Yu-hsien)
Press Award: Let It Be (dir. Yen Lan-chun & Cres Juang)
Best Narrative Film: The Wayward Cloud (dir. Tsai Ming-liang)
Best Documentary: Biographies of the Macaques (dir: Ke Chin-yuan)
Best Animation: The Man of the Hour (dir. Chen Kang-wei)
Best Experimental Film: None of the three nominated films were awarded
Special Mentions:
GoOut to Sea (dir. Chou I-wen)
Planof Regeneration (dir. Wang Hsiu-ling & Lo Shin-chieh)
Small& Deep, Love Stories (dir. Pan Hsin-ping)
Grandpa'sMountain Ballad (dir. Chen Po-wen)
Jump!Boys (dir: Lin Yu-hsien)

First Prize: The Dumping Ground (dir. Weng Ching-ting)
Second Prize: A Love Letter (dir. Chu Po-ying)
Third Prize: Happy New Year (dir. Wang Cheng-yang)
Audience's Choice Award: Nice Dream (dir. Emma Chou)

Grand Prize: Harvest Time (dir. Marina Razbezhkina)
Special Jury Prize: Changing Destiny (dir. Daniele Gaglianone)
Special Mention: In My Father's Den (dir. Brad McGann)
Audience's Choice Award: Off Beat (dir. HendrikHölzemann)