Djamshed Usmonov's To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die was awarded the Grand Prize at the conclusion of the 7th Tokyo Filmex film festival (Nov 17-26).

The award carried a cash prize of $8,640 (Y1m). The ceremony was followed by a screening of Tsai Ming-liang's I Don't Want to Sleep Alone.

The Filmex jury, led by Pusan International Film Festival director Kim Dong-ho, commented on how the film stood out from the field of nine competition entries 'for the cinematic intelligence the filmmaker demonstrates in creating a fluid and dynamic relationship among characters, environment, and narrative.'

To Get To Heaven is a Tajikistan-France-German-Swiss co-production about a young man who has difficulty consummating his recent marriage. Usmonov had previously won the Special Jury Prize at Filmex in 2002 for Angel On The Right.

This year's Special Jury Prize went to Ying Liang's The Other Half, screening as a world premiere. Sponsored by Kodak, the award carried a $1,730 (Y200,000) cash prize and Kodak film stock valued at $8640 (Y1m). Ying has won the award two years in a row, following 2005's Taking Father Home. Both films were shot on digital video, but Ying pledged to try shooting his next film on 35mm.

The Agnes B audience award was given to director Jafar Panahi's Offside. The comedy-drama about a group of Iranian girls who try to sneak into a World Cup qualifying match has proven popular with audiences and critics alike, winning the Silver Bear at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

The 10-day festival featured special screenings of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Syndromes And A Century, Johnnie To's Election and Election 2, Ryoo Seung-wan's The City Of Violence, and the Japanese premiere of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Retribution (Sakebi).

There was also films of late Swiss director Daniel Schmid, a 12-film retrospective on legendary Japanese director Kihachi Okamoto and symposium events open to the public on topics including the films of Tsai Ming-liang, new Iranian cinema and Pusan's role in Korea.