Asian New Talent Award Unveiled, SHUTTLE LIFE Becomes Big Winner
On the evening of June 23, the Asian New Talent Awarding Ceremony of 20th Shanghai International Film Festival was held at the Daning Theatre, Haishang Culture Center, where the winner of each category was announced. SHUTTLE LIFE won the awards for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Cinematographer, and the famous director Takumi SAITOH received Best Director for his debut. The Jury President WANG Xiaoshuai, Jury Members TAN Chui Mui, Michael J. WERNER, DONG Jingsong and Joseph CHANG attended the activity to support these emerging filmmakers; established filmmakers including Derek YEE, Takako TOKIWA, GUAN Hu, QIN Hailu, JIANG Yiyan and Tiffany Ann Hsu also celebrated the grand event together. As the ambassador of Asian New Talent Award, XU Zheng invited the filmmakers to the “Journey of Film along Belt and Road”, with an aim to introduce more film exchange in the Asian countries along the “Belt and Road” and stimulate the creation vitality of Asian films.
Established in 2004, the Asian New Talent Award of Shanghai International Film Festival is another important competition program besides the Golden Goblet Awards. The Award is compared to the excavator for Asian new directors, having gradually discovered and introduced a number of directors in China and other countries and regions in Asia, and helped make them established directors in the Asian film industry. It has made significant contribution to excavating and supporting the rising power of Asian cinema, as well as activating and boosting regional characteristics and diversified vigor. Together with SIFF Project, World Express and other programs, a staged new talent & work incubation mechanism is therefore composed.
SHUTTLE LIFE takes half of the awards
Takumi SAITOH wins Best Director
Best Film: SHUTTLE LIFE
SHUTTLE LIFE, which displays the life and complex humanity of the underclass in Malaysia, became the biggest winner of the night, grasping three prominent awards – Best Film, Best Actor and Best Cinematographer at the ceremony. As disclosed by WANG Xiaoshuai at the ceremony, the Jury “didn’t have any conflict and decided very quickly” when selecting the Best Cinematographer. Beginning his career of filmmaking right from this movie, the director TAN Seng Kiat was very excited: “My family doesn’t even know what I am doing. When I take the trophy back, probably they will know.” The main actor Jack TAN expressed his firm confidence in the future, “I believe this is the turning point of my life, and also my entrance ticket to the film industry.” They also extended their special thanks to the actress Sylvia CHANG, who was moved by the script, and thus offered to play an important role in the film and contributed huge support to the new team.
Best Actor: Jack TAN
Best Cinematographer: CHEN Ko-Chin
Japanese actor Takumi SAITOH, who has gained much attention from the Chinese fans because of his performance in the popular films and TV dramas such as HIRUGAO, brought several works to the SIFF this year, including his directing debut BLANK 13. The film also helped him to win the award for Best Director. He said: “It’s incredible. The award has given me the courage and hope to move forward in the future.” The Chinese scriptwriter WANG Qiang took the Best Script Writer for SUNSHINE THAT CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS. He exercised sufficient control to immerse the audience in the everyday life of average Tibetan families. Set against the backdrop of the power of faith, the story is both pure and exhilarating. The actress from Israel Adwa BOLLE took the honor of Best Actress for BENEATH THE SILENCE. The film focuses on the sequelae of exposure to war, where the actress was able to exercise great restraint with a controlled and subtle performance that depicted the character’s predicament and state of being through her interaction with her husband.
Best Director: Takumi SAITOH
Best Script Writer: WANG Qiang
Best Actress: Adwa BOLLE
WANG Xiaoshuai: Asian New Talent Award is a shelter and a way out
QIN Hailu’s first directing experience: The film industry needs a surge of force
As the Jury President of the Asian New Talent Award, WANG Xiaoshuai has directed a number of fine pieces including RED AMNESIA and BEIJING BICYCLE. When speaking in front of the rising filmmakers that night, he said that Asian New Talent Award was a shelter and a way out. He also expressed his hope that the film market could provide more opportunities and protection for the new talents, “Those who shoot films for the first time are free from many concerns. They may create more and better works in the future, so I hope the market could offer more help.” The Jury President of the last Asian New Talent Award Derek YEE were also present. Speaking of the appraisal last summer, he showed his surprise, “Usually, the cost of these new films is only about RMB 2 million, but we can see the makers’ unremitting passion and energy from them.”
As for rendering new talents assistance, the Shanghai International Film Festival owns practical and effective mechanisms represented by SIFF Project. For the past 11 years, the SIFF Project has witnessed the successful completion of 46 productions. This year, QIN Hailu’s first work as a director Go It Alone was also included to the winner list of SIFF Project this year. She appeared on the stage and made an address: “The Asian New Talent Award is ensuring a good start for young filmmakers. The gate is open to everyone, including me, for we are all making films steadily and earnestly. I think the Award is pure and genuine, which can fully reflect what is deep inside the hearts of these young men. The film industry needs a surge of ‘new’ force, which drives us to keep renovating, renewing and reforming.”
XU Zheng invites people to the “Journey of Film along Belt and Road”
Takako TOKIWA appeals to “Let Dream Set Sail”
As an immovable priority of the whole event, the “Belt and Road” cultural exchange has run through the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival from beginning to end. Taking cinema as a bond, it is able to greatly promote the mutual understanding and cooperation among the people along the “Belt and Road”. As the ambassador of Asian New Talent Award, the noted actor and director XU Zheng invited the filmmakers present to set foot on the “Journey of Film along Belt and Road” together, thus bringing the works of emerging filmmakers to the audience from more countries. Currently, SIFF has reached partnership with multiple film festivals of the countries along. XU Zheng said: “I hereby, on behalf of the Asian New Talent Award of Shanghai International Film Festival, send my sincere invitation to the remarkable rising filmmakers in Asia sitting here tonight – let’s walk on the ‘Journey of Film along Belt and Road’. Bring your wholehearted works, hoist the sail of dream and allow the honorary dream of light and shadow to root, sprout and bloom in this journey!”
Among those who wish to propel cultural exchange through films, the Japanese actress Takako TOKIWA delivered a keynote speech “Let Dream Set Sail” at the event. She recalled performing in MOONLIGHT EXPRESS 18 years ago; that was her maiden film work, where Leslie CHEUNG had given him much guidance on performing and life. She hoped that the young filmmakers present could “march forward bravely”, then quoted from Master Akira KUROSAWA that “Film is a universal language.” and sent her wish: “Let us, guided by this idea, go beyond nationality and culture, carry out film exchange and open a new gate for the film festivals in Asia.”
Winners of 20th SIFF Asian New Talent Award
Best Film: SHUTTLE LIFE (Malaysia)
Best Director: Takumi SAITOH (BLANK 13, Japan)
Best Actor: Jack TAN (SHUTTLE LIFE, Malaysia)
Best Actress: Adwa BOLLE (BENEATH THE SILENCE, Israel)
Best Script Writer: WANG Qiang (SUNSHINE THAT CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS, China)
Best Cinematographer: CHEN Ko-Chin (Taiwan, China) (SHUTTLE LIFE, Malaysia)