Film Festival

These are the winners of the 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival


We present the list of winners of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Young Cinema Competition
Firebird Award

Life After Life by Zhang Hanyi – Hong Kong | 2016 – 80 min.

Jury’s comment: The Firebird Award is given to a film that is bold in its cinematographic technique, uncompromising in its vision of society and employing an impressive formal aesthetic. That film is Life After Life, directed by Zhang Hanyi.

Jury Prize

Tomcat by Händl Klaus – Austria | 2016 – 114 min.

Jury’s comment: The Jury Prize, awarded to a film brimming with ambition in its account of the precariousness of human relationships, both in life and work, goes to Tomcat, directed by Händl Klaus.

Documentary Competition
Firebird Award

Behemoth by Zhao Liang – Hong Kong | 2015 – 90 min.

Jury’s comment: With strongly disturbing imagery, Zhao Liang leads the people through Hell with extreme anxiety, yet Heaven is just another appearance of Purgatory. If we are the accomplices, who is the devil?

Jury Prize

Under the Sun by Vitaly Mansky – Russia, Germany, Czech Republic,
Latvia, North Korea | 2015 – 110 min.

Jury’s comment: Under the rigorous manipulation of the DPRK government, director Mansky captures the absurdities within the fabricated perfect image of North Korea. Genuine human emotions can be seen through a child by contrasting the real with the unreal.

Short Film Competition
Firebird Award

Batrachian’s Ballad by Leonor Teles – Portugal | 2016 – 11 min.

Jury’s comment: Behind a seemingly simple film is a clever and profound narrative offering a historical and political allegory that articulates an important humanistic message through humor. Batrachian’s Ballad reminds us of cinema’s power to be free, inventive and to speak for the oppressed.

Jury Prize

Prelude to the General by Pimpaka Towira – Thailand | 2016 – 11 min.

Jury’s comment: A film set between the present and the past, which blurs the narrative structure by suggesting secrets between the protagonists. They seem to know more than the viewer, keeping the tension of the film like the Sword of Damocles, leading us into a mystic world full of desires. This film has a strong cinematic vision by blending the concept and visuals into a compelling union.


The Island Funeral by Pimpaka Towira – Thailand | 2015 – 105 min.

Jury’s comment: We liked the use of geography and space to denote social and religious diversities. We also were impressed with the atmosphere of mystery, poetic imagery and the message of hope.

SIGNIS Section

Land of Mine by Martin Zandvliet – Denmark, Germany | 2015 – 100 min.

Jury’s comment: A man degraded by the War discovers compassion for a group of young German soldiers consigned to clear a beautiful landscape infested with mines. A powerful metaphor about the promise of coming home and search for hope in the hellish aftermath of the Second World War.

Special Mention

Truman by Cesc Gay – Spain, Argentina | 2015 – 108 min.

Jury’s comment: Truman shows in a humorous manner how people miss their families, friends, colleagues, and even those they have crossed when they are facing death, and how they learn to reflect on themselves and listen to their hearts.

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