We present the list of winners of the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival that is taking place from April 11th – 25th, 2017.
Young Cinema Competition
My Happy Family (Chemi Bednieri Ojakhi) by Nana & Simon – Georgia | 2017 – 119 min.
Nana & Simon return with another engaging family drama after In Bloom, the Firebird winner at the 37th HKIFF. No one takes her seriously when 52-year-old Manana decides to move out of the family home in Tbilisi where three generations live happily (apparently) under one roof. But move out she does and permanently. An amazing portrait of a woman looking for her place in society and for her voice to be heard, as the film questions the balance between personal freedom and family bonds.
Newton by Amit Masurkar – India | 2017 – 105 min.
A young man Nutan, aka Newton, is keen to find order in chaos of his own life and India’s election. This rookie clerk is assigned election duty in a jungle village controlled by Maoist guerillas. A visit by a foreign journalist exposes the absurdity of the election, as Newton finds himself threatened by the security forces who are supposed to offer protection. Supporters of electoral democracy may find more tears than laughter in this black comedy. CICAE Art Cinema Award, Berlinale.
House in the Fields (Tigmi Nigren) by Tala Hadid – Morocco, Qatar | 2017 – 86 min.
Spending four years with a local family, Hadid’s documentary captures a rare vision of tradition and culture in the Amazigh community hidden in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. An affectionate portrait of a vanishing way of living with a thousand-year history, the film focuses on two teenage sisters: one gives up school to prepare for her wedding, while the other dreams of becoming a lawyer. At the crossroads of changing realities, will the intimate relation between human and nature survive?
Inmates by Ma Li – China | 2017 – 287 min.
A powerful documentary that takes us into a Changchun psychiatric ward, meeting directly with men diagnosed with mental disorders who share their personal stories. A man who insists on his mental fitness complains that the loss of freedom and rights in the institution is driving him mad. Another guy claims he is no crazier than anyone else chasing money and sex. The film steadfastly avoids such clichés of matching “madness” against “sanity” by confronting head-on a very hard case of the human condition.
Short Film Competition
Jukai by Gabrielle Lissot – France | 2016 – 9 min.
A young woman follows a trail of colored threads that leads deep into a thick dark forest, untangling them as she goes, hoping to find the answers to her lingering fears.
Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon by Nishikawa Tomonari – Japan | 2016 – 10 min.
“This film displays bridges on Yahagi River, which runs near where I grew up in Japan. I shot each bride twice, first in the morning and second in the evening of the day. It was exposed one-sixth of the frame at a time and the result shows the sense of the sun rising or seting.” – Nishikawa Tomonari
Everything by David Oreilly – Ireland, USA | 2017 – 11 min.
Everything is an interactive experience where everything you see is a thing you can be. Travel between outer and inner space, and explore a vast, interconnected universe. Everything is a procedural, AI-driven simulator of systems of nature, seen from the viewpoints of everything in the universe.
Happy Bus Day by Lee Seung-won – South Korea | 2017 – 113 min.
Homecoming to Hell. As the members of this extraordinarily dysfunctional Korean family assemble around their meals – conman son, abusive mother, wounded children, mousy daughter-in-law, conniving uncle – they attract equally chaotic supporting characters and situations as we find ourselves on a roller coaster ride between slapstick comedy and wrenching pain, social satire and profound disturbance. And even so, there are more layers of secrets, conspiracies and mistrust ahead.
Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow by Mori Yoshitaka – Japan | 2016 – 124 min.
A celebrated champion of “shogi”, a traditional Japanese game similar to chess, Murayama Satoshi’s career was cut short after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Despite his illness, Satoshi eschewed treatment in order to pursue his passion and challenge the game’s greatest players. Director Mori Yoshitaka (Space Brothers, 2012) mirrors shogi’s strict rituals and regulations through his film’s disciplined, understated style. Nevertheless, Matsuyama Kenichi conveys a rebellious determination that drives the film’s familiar, though inspiring underdog narrative.
The Teacher (Ucitelka) by Jan Hrebejk – Slovakia, Czech Republic | 2016 – 102 min.
For all who found their purgatory in Form 7, a powerful and sardonic vision of true adolescent and parental hell. Imagine those years if your teacher could blackmail you and your parents with all the corruption of the 1980s Eastern Bloc in decay – creating a mini-empire of favors, tortures, and disdain. Zuzana Mauréry (Best Actress, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) incarnates everyone’s worst teacher nightmare as we follow those who cower, collaborate and resist her webs of power. We may laugh, of course.
Audience Choice Award
Mad World by Wong Chun – China | 2016 – 101 minutes
From producers Derek Chiu and Heiward Mak, Mad World is the rare Hong Kong film that tackles the subject of mental illness. Director Wong Chun’s drama takes a humanist approach to the story of bipolar disordersuffering Ah Tung, who was committed to a mental hospital after a horrible incident resulting in the death of his ill mother. With the help of his estranged father, Ah Tung tries to reconnect with the society.
Other articles about the 41st HKIFF
15 Films you cannot miss at the Hong Kong International Film Festival 2017
10 Documentaries you cannot miss at the Hong Kong International Film Festival 2017
Mon Mon Mon Monsters by Giddens Ko will closet the 41st HKIFF
Love Off the Cuff by Pang Ho-cheung will open the 41st HKIFF
Restored Classics from Robert Bresson and Mike De Leon at the 41st HKIFF
Berlinale winners present at the HKIFF 2017
10-year commemorative retrospective of Edward Yang at the 41th HKIFF
Louis Koo Tin-lok named Ambassador of the 41st HKIFF