We present the list of winners of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).
Young Cinema Competition
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’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.
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?
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
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’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.
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.
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.
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.