Locarno awards.

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The 56th Locarno film festival reached its climax on Saturday with an awards ceremony on the Piazza Grande and resounding applause for "Khamosh Pani" (Silent Water) by the Pakistani director, Sabiha Sumar. The movie won this year's Golden Leopard for best film at the Locarno festival. This is the first film of its kind to be entirely made in Pakistan, "Sumar said after scooping her award. "It's a miracle of a film, it really is."

One of Locarno's strengths is the emphasis it places on providing a platform for young talent, and the winning director maintains the festival definitely lived up to its tradition of giving new directors much-needed international exposure.

Switzerland also celebrated success, with "iXieme, Journal d'un Prisonnier" sharing top prize in the best video category.

Among the other films, most notable was the critically acclaimed "Maria" from Romania, which received standing ovations during its screenings. The Calin Netzer-directed film won the jury's special prize.

Another popular choice, the Bosnian film "Gori Vatra" (Burning Fire) picked up a Silver Leopard, as did...

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