The 1st International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao Closes with star studded awards ceremony THE WINTER wins inaugural Best Film Award
The 1st International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao drew to a successful finale this evening with a star studded closing night ceremony and awards presentation at the Macao Cultural Centre, hosted by renowned Hong Kong MC Astrid Chan and Bob Lam.
President of Organizing Committee of IFFAM Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (Director of Macao Government Tourism Office) commented, “After an intensive program of activities including film screenings, the Industry Hub, Masterclasses, press conferences and more over the last six days, tonight, we come to the closing of the International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao. This inaugural edition of the Film Festival not only has elevated Macao’s international reputation, boosted the synergy between tourism and culture and promoted local tourism development, but also introduced world class exchange opportunities, functioned as a regional exchange platform and empowered the local film industry as well as the cultural and creative industry to progress, while widening the cultural perspectives of our local residents and bringing multi-faceted benefits to Macao at large.”
The awards for films in Official Competition were decided by an international jury comprising of Jury President Shekhar Kapur and jury members Jung Woo-Sung, Stanley Kwan, Makiko Watanabe and Giovanna Fulvi. THE WINTER took the Best Film Award [presented by Shekhar Kapur and Academy-Award winning director Tom McCarthy] competing in a line-up of 12 films in Official Competition.
Other awards in Official Competition included:
Jury Prize – TRESPASS AGAINST US
[presented by Stanley Kwan and Makiko Watanabe]
Best Director – SAINT GEORGE for Marco Martins
[presented by director Jonathan Chu and director and Festival Ambassador Ann Hui]
Best Actor Award – SAINT GEORGE for Nuno Lopes
[presented by producer Jason Taylor and actress Lisa Lu]
Best Actress Award – TRESPASS AGAINST US for Lyndsey Marshal
[presented by IFFAM Actress in Focus Gwei Lun-mei and actress Karena Lam]
Award for Best New Young Actress – SISTERHOOD for Jennifer Yu
[presented by producer Gianni Nunnari and actress Margarida Vila-Nova]
Best Screenplay – FREE FIRE for Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley
[presented by Giovanna Fulvi and actor Chin Han]
Award for Best Technical Contribution – ELON DOESN’T BELIEVE IN DEATH for Original Music & Sound Design – Sound: Pablo Lamar and Original Soundtrack: Daniel Saavedra[presented by producer Todd Brown and actress Jin Qiao Qiao]
Jury president Shekhar Kapur commented, “This is one of the best juries I’ve worked with; we took our responsibility very seriously, because we understand how important these awards are to the filmmakers. I do not like to use the word ‘judge’, because judgement could imply personal prejudice, but rather use the word ‘respond’. Respond emotionally to the films, to the artists, in context of our understanding of their intentions. We’ve had some intense arguments amongst ourselves, which only goes to show the great quality of films that we’ve seen, and how passionately each one of us felt about them. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, the choices were hard fought and difficult to make.”
Director Feng Xiaogang (IF YOU ARE THE ONE, ASSEMBLY, AFTERSHOCK, BACK TO 1942) was presented with the Career Achievement Award by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Mr. Alexis Tam. The MFTPA Special Award for Contribution to Chinese Film was presented to IFFAM special advisor and film producer Yu Dong, by President of MFTPA Mr. Alvin Chau. Both honorees were selected for outstanding achievements in their fields. The ‘Eye of the Audience’ Macao Audience Choice Award was presented to SISTERHOOD by actress Josie Ho and IFFAM Talent Ambassador Rhydian Vaughan. As previously announced, the smash hit TRAIN TO BUSAN received Variety’s Asian Blockbuster Film 2016 Award. Cast members Kim-Su-an, Kim Euisung, Choi Woo-sik and producer Lee Dong-ha were at the ceremony to receive the award from Variety’s Asia Bureau Chief Patrick Frater, and IFFAM Head of Festival Management Lorna Tee.
Also in attendance this evening were a stellar line-up of filmmakers, actors and industry figures including:
- Festival Ambassador and director Clemens Klopfenstein
- Honorary Advisors Michael Mecca, Pansy Ho, Linda Chen, Jay Chun, Paco Wong and Alex Dong
- Special Advisors Deborah Valdez Hung, Stephen Hung, Tiffany Chen and Charles Heung
- Edinburgh International Film Festival Director Mark Adams, and Busan International Film Festival Director Kang Soo-youn.
- Supporting Entity Ho Kwai Leng (Macao Foundation)
- Director Ho Yuhang Other notable delegates attending included: Scott Messinger, Miriam Yeung, Charlene Choi, Jennifer Tse, Qi Qi, Alex Lam, Wong Jing, Michelle Wai, Real Ding, Jacqueline Chong, Gloria Yip, Cecilia So, Michelle Hu, Iris Chung, Wang Yi (王藝), Li Man, Ludi Lin, Celina Jade, Tom Shu-yu Lin, Hsia Yu-chiao and the representatives of Macau Artistes Association.
The CINEFANTASY International Short Film Screenwriting Competition was open to young people from all over the world, with the final five finalists competing in a special public session during the Festival and presenting their scenarios in front of a special jury. Certificates were presented to the two winners IIashree and Manasri Goswami from India and Alessa Ellefson from Belgium by Jury President Shekhar Kapur, the two projects are LEGACY OF DREAMS and THE SEEKER’S KEY respectively.
The IFFAM welcomed international filmmakers and industry delegates from across the globe and altogether a total of 54 public screenings took place across the Festival. Daily Gala red carpet events took place throughout the Festival with filmmakers and cast attending to support films including:
- POLINA (Opening Night Film) – Directors Angelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller, cast members Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider and producer Didier Creste.
- THE MOLE SONG – Hong Kong Capriccio: Director Takashi Miike, cast members Toma Ikuta and Tsubasa Honda
- PANDORA: Director Park Jung Woo, cast members Kim Nam-gil, Jung Jin-young, Kim Joo-hyeon, Kim Dae-Myeong and Moon Jeong Hee
- IMMORTAL STORY: Director Yon Fan, cast members Sylvia Chang, Shingo Tsumuri and Yao Wei
Filmmakers and cast attending to support Competition and Hidden Dragons screenings included – Competition:
- ELON DOESN’T BELIEVE IN DEATH: Director and screenwriter Ricardo Alves Jr., actor and co-screenwriter Germano Melo, producer and editor Michael Wahrmann and producer Thiago Maçedo Correia
- FREE FIRE: Director Ben Wheatley, actor Sharlto Copley and producer Andy Starke
- GURGAON: Director Shanker Raman, cast members Akshay Oberoi and Ragini Khanna
- HIDE AND SEEK: Director Liu Jei, actress Qin Hailu and Ellen Eliasoph
- QUEEN OF SPADES: Director Pavel Lungin and actress Ksenya Rappaport
- SAINT GEORGE: Director Marco Martins and DOP Carlos Lopes
- SHINING MOMENT: Director Fruit Chan and actor Hin Cheung
- SISTERHOOD Director Tracy Choi, actresses Gigi Leung, Kevin Chu, Jennifer Yu, Fish Liew, Eliz Lao and Panther Chan and producers Ding Yuin Shan, Tang Wai But and Jacqueline Liu
- SURVIVAL FAMILY: Director Shinobu Yaguchi and actor Fumiyo Kohinata
- TRESPASS AGAINST US: Director Adam Smith
- THE WINTER: Director Emiliano Torres, actor Adrián Fondari, scriptwriter Marcelo Chaparro and producer Ezequiel Borovinsky.
- OUR SEVENTEEN: Director Emily Chan, cast members Sam Pang, C All Star – King Wu, C All Star – On Chan, Angela Yuen, Tin Kai Man, Kyla Ma, Kyle Li and Blademark, who also provide the music and producer Lai Ching Man
- 1974: Directors/producer Victor Dryere, actress Blanca Alarcon and producer Fausto Muñoz
- ANTIPORNO: Actress Ami Tomite
- DAGUERROTYPE: Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
- THE HOUSEMAID: Director Derek Nguyen, cast members Kate Nhung and Jean-Michel Richaud and producer Timothy Bui and Hoang Huyen
- SECLUSION: Director Erik Matti, cast members Phoebe Walker, Neil Ryan Sese and Dominque Roque
- TORO: Director Kike Maíllo
- TERROR 5: Directors/producers Sebastian Rotstein and Federico Rotstein, actors Gaston Cocchiarale, Julian Larquier and Cecilia Cartasegna and producer Daniel Werner
The Crossfire section saw an A-list line-up of acclaimed Asian directors introduce a genre film of their choice, as part of the Festival’s remit to introduce local audiences to different genres and styles from around the world. Directors Kim Jee-Woon, Park Chan-wook, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Choi Dong Hoon and Lu Chuan were all in Macao to present a film. Best of Fest Panorama saw screenings of some of this year’s most high-profile international festival hits: JACKIE, TONI ERDMANN, LADY MACBETH, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, THE FUTURE PERFECT, GOODBYE BERLIN, INDIGNATION, PERSONAL SHOPPER and NERUDA.
Gwei Lun-mei was the Festival’s Actress in Focus, with screenings of her films FORÊT DEBUSSY, SECRET and FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE, while Swiss director Clemens Klopfenstein was present for special presentations of his films THE SILESIAN GATE and MACAO – THE BACKSIDE OF THE SEA. Festival Talent Ambassador Jang Keun Suk attended screenings of his short films THE GREAT LEGACY and DAEGA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (both of which he directed) while Festival Talent Ambassador Rhydian Vaughan took part in a special press conference to launch his new project EMPIRE HOTEL which was also attended by director Ivo Ferreira, actress Margarida Vila-Nova and producers Luis Urbano and Cristina Soares.
Academy-award winning director Tom McCarthy and Hollywood producer Gianni Nunnari both took part in Masterclasses during the festival, part of a programme of events which also included pre-Festival Masterclasses with Festival Ambassadors Johnnie To and Ann Hui.
The Crouching Tigers Project Lab was a highlight of the Industry programme, with a three-day programme focused on twelve international projects in development, each represented by their director and producer. The international jury panel of sponsors and film professionals commented, “We’re extremely proud and happy with the 3 days of Crouching Tigers Project Lab pitching and meetings as many projects found really good potential investors, sales agents and partners for their film projects. The high quality of the projects and filmmakers resulted in a difficult decision so the jury decided to award to 4 projects instead of 3 as initially planned. Many attendees has informed us of their desire to return for next year’s edition as it has been a fruitful event for them.” The cash awards were sponsored by one of Fox International Productions (USD 20,000), Ivanhoe Pictures (USD 10,000) and Huace Media (USD 10,000). The selected four projects included:
- RIVER TOWN / Dir & Prod: Lu Chuan / Prod: Jamie Gordon (USA / China)
- INSPECTOR LOU / Dir: Djo Munga (United Kingdom / Belgium / Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- PINTAKASI / Dir: Erik Matti / Prod: Ronald “Dondon” Monteverde (Philippines)
- 270 SAN MA LO, MACAO / Dir & Prod: João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata (Portugal)
The Crouching Tigers Awards were presented at the Macau Science Centre on 11 December by Tomas Jegeus from FOX International Productions, John Penotti from Ivanhoe Pictures and Jane Wan from Huace Pictures.