BEIJING BASKS IN FESTIVAL RETURN
The Argentina-Chile coproduction “The Punishment,” directed by Matias Bize, was named best feature over the weekend at the close of the Beijing International Film Festival.
Mexico’s Lila Avilés won the Tiantan Award for best director for her film “Totem.” Antonia Zegers and Line Renaud shared the best actress award for “The Punishment” and “Driving Madeleine,” respectively.
The best actor award went to Xin Baiqing for Chinese movie “The Shadowless Tower.” The film, which premiered in February in Berlin, was the numerical winner. With the best screenplay, music, cinematography and artistic contribution awards, it won a total of five prizes.
Chinese actor and director Tian Zhuangzhuang collected the best supporting actor award. Mexican, Montserrat Maranon earned the best supporting actress prize.
The ceremony wrapped up a festival at which organizers claimed to have played 1,488 films. International guests included Israel’s Nadav Lapid, Germany’s Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Thailand’s Pimpaka Towira. Local celebrities in attendance included Zhou Dongyu, lifetime achievement award-winner Zhang Yimou, and Ge You.
SUPPORT FOR VIETNAM PROJECTS
Bangkok-based film fund Purin Pictures has announced three Asian feature film projects that will each receive $30,000 grants in its Spring 2023 funding round. Additionally, two Asian documentary projects will receive $15,000 each.
Director Duong Dieu Linh’s “Don’t Cry Butterfly,” depicts a woman who has discovered her husband is having an affair and decides to voodoo him back into love, not knowing that her actions may spawn something peculiar at home. Ang Geck Geck’s “Ah Girl” is a story of a seven-year-old girl who must choose between living with her father or her mother when the parents divorce. “Farid,” from Malaysian director Emir Ezwan sees a penniless man befriend a flesh-eating spirit who grants him wealth but makes the man pay a heavy price.
The documentaries are Quang Nong Nhat’s “Baby Jackfruit, Baby Guava” about a conservative mother, a mentally-ill daughter, and a gay son. Thai director Ukrit Sa-nguanhai is preparing “The Itinerant,” a documentary exploring propaganda film operations in Cold War Thailand.
“Vietnam in particular has proved to be a bright spot in the region for cinema. We are in the midst of a Vietnamese New Wave,” said Purin Pictures co-director Aditya Assarat. “Both ‘Don’t Cry Butterfly’ and ‘Baby Jackfruit, Baby Guava’ have a confident personal style that is indicative of the new generation of Vietnamese filmmakers.”
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