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Winners of the 35th HKIFF competitions

Asian Digital Competition

GOLDEN DIGITAL AWARD
Old Dog / Directed by Pema Tsedan
Jury’s comment: A film that shows how cinema can be a powerful experience.

SILVER DIGITAL AWARD
Eternity / Directed by Sivaroj Kongsakul
Jury’s comment: We were very moved by its poetic style and its original structure.

SPECIAL MENTION
The Sun Beaten Path / Directed by Sonthar Gyal
Jury’s comment: We want to give a special mention to The Sun Beaten Path by Sonthar Gyal, which we liked very much.

Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Peace / Directed by Soda Kazuhiro
Jury’s comment: Peace is a quiet film with an unusual power to move. By following the ordinary lives of people and cats, the camera leads the audience to discover the concept of peace in its most fundamental sense, not as a state of negotiated, reluctant coexistence, but as an idea that lies at the core of our humanity. The film reveals the sublime through the mundane.

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY
Pink Saris / Directed by Kim Longinotto
Jury’s comment: Pink Saris exposes the horrific conditions of women’s lives in a male-dominated and cast-conscious society and gives voice to women who are courageously standing up for their rights. The power of the film lies not only in its championing of these women’s struggle for equality, but also in its refusal to shy away from exploring the complexity of the process of change and the flaws of its protagonist.

Short Film Competition

GRAND PRIZE
Pigs / Directed by Pawel Wojtasik
Jury’s comment: Pigs is a marvellously abstract and perfectly concrete experimental documentary. Its images are shockingly beautiful and very ugly, showing us ways of looking at familiar things (pigs) that we have never seen before. It’s about pigs, and it’s about us.

JURY PRIZE
Little Children, Big Words / Directed by Lisa James Larsson
Jury’s comment: A sincere and controlled portraiture of a woman who finds a gentle expression for her painful memories. The sophisticated narrative effectively conceals the author’s intentions; watching this film is like barging into a room only to find someone napping inside – you force open the door, then you close it with care.

SPECIAL MENTION
Nowhere Elsewhere / Directed by Annick Blanc
Jury’s comment: Demonstrate finesse and control in narrative, actors’ performance, music, mis-en-scene; drawing the audience into an unique atmosphere through its storytelling and creativity, makes people eagerly awaiting to the director’s next piece.

I was a Child of Holocaust Survivors / Directed by Ann Marie Fleming
A fresh and tender animation on a heavy subject, but without the emotional baggage and melodramatic clichés; making the viewers feel touched with compassion.

FIPRESCI Prize

WINNER
Bleak Night / Directed by Yoon Sung-hyun
Jury’s comment: For its confident and coherent vision, and for eliciting stunning performances from a young cast.

SPECIAL MENTION
Good Morning to the World!! / Directed by Hirohara Satoru
Jury’s comment: For its highly original story and its spectacular last scene.

SIGNIS Award

WINNER
Winter’s Bone / Directed by Debra Granik
Jury’s comment: The jury has been touched by the courage of a young girl, carrying the burden of her family, determined to prove her father’s death in order to prevent losing their home. By focusing on the grey and raw landscape the director creates an authentic neo-realistic atmosphere that enforces the tough living conditions of the protagonist and her family.

SPECIAL MENTION
The Human Resources Manager / Directed by Eran Riklis
Jury’s comment: The encounters that the protagonist takes across physical and spiritual boundaries deepens his self awareness. His personal transformation in turn influences and shapes the quality of the relationship of people round him. The film not only shows tremendous respect for death but also respects the voice of the living, by honoring the family’s wishes about a character’s death. The classical structure of the film resonates with the journey that the characters undertake as their lives unfold.