The competition section of China’s Pingyao Intl. Film Festival on Friday awarded top prizes to Russia’s Philipp Yuryev, Serbia’s Ivan Ilkic, and Chinese directors Li Dongmei and Wang Jing. The films of the first three helmers debuted at the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days section in September, where Yuryev’s “The Whaler Boy” won the top prize.
Screenings are still ongoing at the Chinese festival in the central Chinese province of Shanxi, co-founded by Chinese helmer Jia Zhangke and former Venice head Marco Muller, whose full line-up of 63 films runs from Oct. 10 to 19. Few international guests attended, as China continues to limit travel into the country and requires a 14-day quarantine period for new arrivals.
The Robert Rossellini Awards are a set of prizes given to the dozen international directorial debuts or second features in the “Crouching Tigers” section.
“The Whaler Boy” from Philipp Yuryev won the top $20,000 prize for best film, half of which is awarded to director for use on his next project, and half of which goes to the film’s distributor in China. Ivan Ilkic and his “Oasis,” the story of a love triangle in an institution for the mentally handicapped, won the $10,000 prize for best director. Both films were among the ten competing at Venice Days last month, where “The Whaler Boy,” the story of a young whale hunter on the Bering Strait who journeys to meet the webcam model of his obsessions, won the €20,000 ($23,668) Director’s Award.
Meanwhile, among the international titles, Japan’s Yujiro Harumoto won the jury award for “A Balance,” while Israeli helmer Ruthy Pribar’s “Asia,” starring Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”) won a prize for special mention.
The Fei Mu Awards were issued to films in the “Hidden Dragons” section made up of first and second features in the Chinese language.
The RMB120,000 ($17,900) prize for best film was awarded to director Li Dongmei’s “Mama,” which also debuted Venice Days competing against Yuryev and Ilkic’s titles. The RMB60,000 ($8,900) best director prize went to Wang Jing for “The Best is Yet To Come.” Liu Yase won best actress for her role in Shi Xiaofan’s “Cafe by the Highway,” while Zhou You won best actor for his performance in “Striding into the Wind” from Wei Shujun, which was selected as part of the Cannes official selection this year
Han Shuai’s “Summer Blur” won the jury award, while Yang Pingdao’s “A Yang Pingdao Film” won both the youth jury award and Cinephilia Critic’s Award.
In the festival’s work-in-progress section, which presented projects still the film “Sometimes It’s Like Going Back to Childhood” by Chen Guan won the Huayi Brothers-sponsored RMB180,000 ($26,900) prize for best film, while Yan Hai’s “Evolutionism” won RMB100,000 ($14,900) for best director.