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Swiss director wins international film prize

Filmmaker Christian Frei has been named winner of the Grand Prix Graz 2010, awarded during the 22nd annual Mountain and Adventure Film Festival in Austria.

His documentary film “Space Tourists” follows the journey of an American woman who pays $20 million (SFr19.6 million) to fulfill her childhood dream of travelling into outer space.

In addition to portraying life on the International Space Station, the film shows junk collectors in Kazakhstan who scurry to pick up the rocket debris that falls from the sky.

“This film surprised us by taking us into new terrain and fresh perspectives in adventure. An unlikely mix of scrub-metal dealers, former Cold War Space Race and rich American rocket tourists,” said the jury of Frei’s work.

Frei, also known for “War Photographer” and “The Giant Buddhas”, has won several international awards.

The Grand Prix Graz jury included American climber and writer John Harlin, who recently completed stage two of his Swiss Border Stories adventure for and agencies

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