Japanese director Masahide Ichii's Naked Of Defenses won the Grand Prix at the 30th edition of the Pia Film Festival (PFF), which ran from July 19 to 25 in Tokyo's Shibuya district.

A total of 15 films, both feature-length and shorts, were selected to screen in competition from 601 submissions (down from 780 last year).

Naked Of Defenses is Ichii's sophomore effort after winning the runner-up prize at 2006's PFF for Dog Days Dream. Ichii was profiled in Screen International's Star Summit Asia issue at the Pusan International Film Festival.

Naked Of Defenses tells the story of a woman trying to overcome a tragic miscarriage in her past as she develops a friendship with a pregnant co-worker. The Grand Prix carried a cash prize of $9,350 (Y1m). The film also won prizes from sponsors Imagica (Technical Prize) and online contents provider GyaO.

The runner-up prize went to Yukiko Sode's feature Mime-Mime, which also was awarded the Avex Entertainment Award.

Izumi Matsuno's Ghost Of Yesterday won one of three special jury prizes as well as the TBS Project Prize.

Koki Yoshida's 67-minute Symptom X and Nobuteru Uchida's Kazaana both picked up special jury prizes. Kenichi Noda and Hiroaki Tsunoda's 56-minute Semigao grabbed the audience award.

The 2008 jury included veteran director Junya Sato (Yamato), SMAP star Shingo Katori (Monkey Magic), cult director and PFF alumnus Sogo Ishii (Electric Dragon 8000V), art director Chie Morimoto and producer Kaho Son.

PFF also features a scholarship programme, eligible to filmmakers who win prizes in the competition. Launched in 1984, the programme funds one 35mm feature film per year. Takatsugu Naito's eccentric dramedy The Dark Harbor screened at this year's edition.

Last year's scholarship film Park And Love Hotel went on to win the Best First Feature award for Izuru Kumasaka at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.