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Swiss director Liechti wins best doc award

Swiss documentary filmmaker Peter Liechti has been awarded the prize for best documentary at the 22nd European Film Awards for his film “The Sound of Insects”.

The 58-year-old St Gallen native is the first Swiss to win a European Film Award. The prizes were handed out in Bochum, Germany on Saturday evening.

A three-member Russian-Austrian-French jury selected Liechti’s film from a shortlist of ten European documentaries. Liechti received the Prix Arte for what the jury called “an exceptional narrative about life and death”.

The film is based on the novel “Miira ni narumade” by Japanese writer Masahiko Shimada.

Shimada’s novel examines on the diary of a 40-year-old man who committed suicide by starvation. According to the man’s notes, he had taken his life in the summer. A hunter found his mummified corpse the following winter.

Liechti called the award “the greatest recognition” of his career. Previous films include "Signers Koffer" (1996), "Namibia Crossings" (2004) and "Hardcore Chamber Music" (2006).

Other winners included Michael Haneke, who won best film, best director and best screenwriter for his film “The White Ribbon”, Kate Winslet for her role in “The Reader” and Tahar Rahim, who won for his role in the French film “A Prophet”. and agencies