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‘Snow In Midsummer’ & ‘Sons’ Win Awards

Malaysia-Singapore-Taiwan co-production Snow in Midsummer and Swedish title Sons took top prizes in the Young Cinema Competition at the 48th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Winners of the festival’s 15 Firebird Awards and FIPRESCI Prize were announced at an awards gala held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Directed by Malaysian filmmaker Chong Keat-aun, Snow in Midsummer was named Best Film (Chinese Language) in the Young Cinema Competition, with the jury commending the director for “demonstrating extraordinary courage in recounting the traumatic experiences of Malaysian travelling players.”

The feature revolves around a Cantonese street opera troupe during a turbulent period in Malaysia’s political history in the late 1960s. Cast includes Wan Fang, Pearlly Chua, Rexen Cheng, Pauline Tan, Peter Yu and Alvin Wong.

Other winners in the Chinese-language category included the Best Director award for Chinese filmmaker Liang Ming for his film Carefree Days, while the film’s female lead, Lyu Xingchen won Best Actress. The Best Actor award went to Jason King in Taiwanese film A Journey in Spring. Co-directed by Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hui, the film also picked up the FIPRESCI Prize.

Gustav Möller’s Sons received the Best Film prize for the World category. The film follows an idealistic prison officer (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who is faced with the dilemma of her life when a young man from her past gets transferred to the prison where she works.

The Best Director (World) award went to Tunisian-American director Meryam Joobeur for her debut feature Who Do I Belong To.

In the documentary competition, Favoriten by Austrian director Ruth Beckermann won Best Film, while Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Siu-pong took the Jury Prize with ObedienceIntercepted by Ukrainian director Oksana Karpovych received a Special Mention.

Italian filmmaker Margherita Giusti received the top prize in the festival’s short film competition for her animation The Meatseller. The Jury Prize went to Shrooms by Portuguese director Jorge Jácome.

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