Tehilim examines Judaism through the story of an average Israeli family affected by the mysterious disappearance of their father after a car accident. The Israel-France co-production competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and was released in Israel last month.
The Filmex competition jury, headed by director Lee Chang-dong, commented on how Tehilim stood out from the field of ten. 'The film brings to the fore a universal problem of today's world - the lack of orientation. It is told in a personal style, which - as world cinema - transgresses borders and religions.'
The Special Jury prize, sponsored by Kodak, was awarded to Hong Kong police thriller Eye In The Sky, directed by Yau Nai-hoi. Yau has served as longtime screenwriter for Johnnie To on titles such as The Mission and the Election films. The prize was accompanied by Kodak colour negative film stock valued at $8,000.
'The jury praises Mr. Yau Nai-hoi as an upcoming talent in the Asian film industry. The sophisticated screenplay maintains the tension between the characters throughout the film,' said Lee on behalf of the jury.
Eye In The Sky has been nominated in five categories, including Best Feature, at the upcoming Golden Horse awards (Dec 8).
The audience award, sponsored by French fashion label Agnes B, was given to Johnnie To's Exiled accompanied by a Y200,000 ($1,847) cash prize.
The closing ceremony was followed by a screening of Lee Chang-dong's award-winning Secret Sunshine.
The nine-day festival, held in Tokyo's Yurakucho and Kyobashi districts, featured 37 titles from Japan and across Asia as well as talk sessions and special retrospectives of Satsuo Yamamoto and Indian director Ritwik Ghatak.