The 12th Shanghai International Film Festival

One of the few international film festivals in Asia, the Shanghai Film Festival celebrated its 12th year between June 13th and 21st.

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At the conclusion of the festival, the official website issued a list of winners as well as the accompanying jury comments:

Best Feature Film

ORIGINAL directed by Antonio Tublén / Alexander Brøndsted

Using this title for a film is dangerous, almost suicidal. But the film more than met the challenge the title lays down. A light, touching and subversive study of mental illness that is compassionate and never sentimental. From the opening image of a fish tank being peeled open to the Mexican wrestlers tumbling in the heroes’ mind we know we had found the best film …… ORGINAL!

Jury Grand Prix
THE SEARCH directed by Pema Tseden

The most challenging film we saw, almost a meditation in patience as well as an exercise in it for the viewer, uncompromising but funny and humane too. We look forward to many more films from Tibet.

Jury Award
EMPIRE OF SILVER directed by Christina Yao

To the director and her cast and crew for the detail and craft on such an epic scale and in such extraordinary locations. And for reminding us, especially at this time that bankers should be kind and righteous.

(Unfortunately, I have yet to find a promotional trailer with english subtitles)

Best Director
Julius Sevcik for NORMAL

A dazzling and technically bold director in command of all elements delivering his challenging vision of the serial killer genre.

Best Actor
Sverrir Gudnason in ORIGINAL directed by Antonio Tublén/Alexander Brøndsted

Is he acting, fantasizing, fooling everyone – and himself – or is he simply crazy – we never really know. What we know is that this young actor’s brilliant, sensitive, humorous and vulnerable performance is absolutely mesmerizing.

Best Actress
Simone Tang in ACHING HEARTS directed by Nils Malmros

For the control and clarity of complex emotions perfectly captured by a performance that lures us in until we find ourselves, like the young hero, repulsed.

Best Screenplay
Fabio Bonifacci/ Giulio Manfredonia for WE CAN DO THAT

Their screenplay documents with wit and clarity – a true story of the way political philosophy can intersect with social need and build something truly transforming

Best Cinematography
Nicolas Guicheteau / Hans Meier for NOWHERE PROMISED LAND

This is the most contentious decision. It is not in the classical tradition but more an acknowledgement that cinematography in the modern era can be about ways of seeing; what you look at and how it looks back at you.

Best Music
Hyoung-woo ROH for ROUGH CUT

Modern, pulpy, deliberately undermining and enlivening the gangster genre

And, some photos from the red carpet and award show if anyone is interested:


The Jury led by Director Danny Boyle (second left)


Christopher Doyle, world-renowned cinematographer (right)


Ayelet Zurer (left) and Ewan McGregor (center) from Angels & Demons (2009)


Danny Boyle and Michelle Yeoh