We present the list of winners of the Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival that took place from November 7th – 13th in General Santos, Philippines.
Best Asian Feature Award
Ziarah by BW Purba Negara – Indonesia | 2016 – 85 min.
Mbah Sri (95) is looking for the grave of her husband, who has been missing for decades, with one simple aim: she wants to rest in peace beside her husband’s grave.
The jury said: “Ziarah has a powerful story about storytelling, a humble yet immensely affecting approach to the stories that embody us through life, and its prism that echoes from its death. It is a film about the search for closure of an old woman, by piecing portraits that tell a love story, its history, and the power of storytelling in reincarnating the essence of a life.”
Jury Special Mention Award
The Dog by Lam Can-zhao – China | 2015 – 88 min.
Director Lam Can-Zhao leads a small film crew as they shoot a film about a stray dog in the streets of Guangzhou, leading viewers into an unpredictable, peculiar and incredible journey. Shot documentary-style while employing characteristics of hybrid cinema, THE DOG’s low-tech and casual style reveals a wealth of stories that reflect both the authenticity and occasional absurdity of the living situations of migrant workers and of those who otherwise live “below the line.” As the debut feature film directed by Lam, THE DOG reads more like a lonely rebel’s exploration and revelation to the world.
The Jury said: “The Dog is a film that takes us into a glimpse of lives in modern society through an unlikely perspective, carried through assured yet subtle shifts in the language of showing.”
Best Asian Short Film Award
Boneca de Atauro: Searching for Lost Love by David Palazon – Timor Leste | 2016 – 20 min.
This film is the first stop-motion film coming out the young nation of Timor-Leste. On this non-stop laughter and action-packed film, the main character—a handmade rag doll called Ataurina—while looking for her abducted partner, takes us into an adventurous journey through some of the most beautiful locations in Ataúro island (a new eco-tourism paradise destination in South East Asia). During the trip, Ataurina travels by all means encountering unexpected dangers and meeting curious characters across the island in a mission to get her loved one back.
The Jury said: “We award Boneca de Atauro for its unique and playful storytelling is brimming with magical optimism that gives a different kind of cinematic expression yet at the same time brings to the fore its political importance in a country at the threshold of a new future.”
Best Filipino Short Film Award
Sina Igme at Gani by Jhayle Ann Meer – Philippines | 2016 – 25 min.
The film comes close to the world of Igme and Gani where things are quiet, colorful, and simple. Even pain is static, pulled in by their feelings of isolation, and gently eased away by their friendship. The conflict of the narrative arises when the system of oppression threatens their world that is each other.
The jury said: “We select Igme at Gani for its simple yet sophisticated storytelling that refuses to succumb to nihilism, offering a refreshing look at a national issue. It has a very Filipino sensibility yet also speaks a universal language, something that even transcends Philippines’ Southeast Asian counterparts.”