At Awards Gala at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF41) revealed the winning films for five award categories, in recognition of filmmakers’ outstanding achievement. These include the “Young Cinema Competition”, the “Documentary Competition” and the “Short Film Competition” under the Firebird Award Competition, as well as the “FIPRESCI Prize” and the “SIGNIS Award”. Winner of the newly added “Audience Choice Award”, supported by Hearts On Fire, was also announced today (23 April).
Each competition was judged by an independent jury, consisting of renowned industry figures. Distinguished Polish director, Agnieszka HOLLAND, who won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for her film Spoor at the Berlin International Film Festival 2017, led the jury for the Firebird Young Cinema Competition. Other jurors including Colin GEDDES, ex-programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival; Thomas SOTINEL of prestigious French newspaper Le Monde; local acclaimed actor Anthony WONG; Mary STEPHEN, the film editor for French New Wave director Éric ROHMER and Canadian director Ann Marie FLEMING. Director JIA Zhangke, the founder of JIA Screen, also joined the Gala to present the award of “Short Film Competition”.
Young Cinema Competition Jury Prize Winner, NEWTON (Dir: Amit V Masurkar)
List of 41st HKIFF Award Winners:
YOUNG CINEMA COMPETITION
MY HAPPY FAMILY (Dir: Nana & Simon)
Jury’s comment: For its sensitive portrait of the social and psychological changes that are influencing the gender roles in traditional society. Both subtle and truthful, the directors crafted a realistic family dynamic with a talented ensemble of actors.
NEWTON (Dir: Amit V Masurkar)
Jury’s comment: For the intelligent and human presentation of a political situation in a divided country. The film balances the humour, disillusion and – against all odds – a steadfast belief in the meaning of democracy.
HOUSE IN THE FIELDS (Dir: Tala Hadid)
Jury’s comment: The jury unanimously awards House in the Fields the Firebird prize for a film celebrating two young women in Northern Morocco who share their aspirations for their lives. The director Tala Hadid achieves beautiful balance in form and content to give audiences access to an otherwise isolated world.
INMATES (Dir: Ma Li)
Jury’s comment: The director displays discretion, respect and patience in telling the stories of the inmates. Ma Li leads us into the mental world of the patients, and manages to move the viewer deeply with a very subtle approach.
Documentary Competition Firebird Award Winner, HOUSE IN THE FIELDS (Dir: Tala Hadid)
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
JUKAI (Dir: Gabrielle Lissot)
Jury’s comment: This beautiful film makes excellent use of every element- sound, design, colour, movement- to paint a poignant portrait of the connectedness of life and shows how even the delicate strings of hope that may not save us from our own despair can still nurture new generations.
TEN MORNINGS TEN EVENINGS AND ONE HORIZON (Dir: Nishikawa Tomonari)
Jury’s comment: Multiple-layered meanings, regarding but not limited to temporality, spatiality, spirituality and the plastic materiality of film in representing and at the same time distorting reality, can be inferred from this simple 16mm experimental film using seemingly anachronistic yet timeless and effective analogue technology.
EVERYTHING (Dir: David OReilly)
Jury’s comment: An 360 degree animation experiment, from our planet to the universe. With good use of audio of old narration which fits in the main concept of the work, leading to a multi-perspectives visual journey.
HAPPY BUS DAY (Dir: Lee Seung-won)
Jury’s comment: For its satirical interpretation of Korean TV dramas full of black humor and unconventional ideas.
SATOSHI: A MOVE FOR TOMORROW (Dir: Mori Yoshitaka)
Jury’s comment: For its vivid depiction of a contemporary "tragic hero", who was bound by the "win-lose" game, missing all beautiful things in life. The film reflects on the meaning of life - beyond materialistic gains, there is also love and passion.
THE TEACHER (Dir: Jan Hřebejk)
Jury’s comment: For its portrait of a secondary school teacher's exploitation of the students and their parents. A realistic reflection of our society, the film makes us contemplate the ways of facing conflict and injustice under different political systems, so that we may live our lives with dignity.
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
MAD WORLD (Dir: Wong Chun)