“New” Stars Shines at the Asian New Talent Award Ceremony
On the evening of June 22, the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival Asian New Talent Award Ceremony was held at Shanghai Daning Theatre in the International Film and Television Park Circum-SHU in Jing'an District. The Chinese film The Road Not Taken won the Best Film Award, the Japanese female director Yui Kiyohara won the Best Director. The Filipino screenwriter Shireen Seno won the Best Script Writer Award for the film Nervous Translation, and the Chinese actor DING Xihe and the Iranian actress Negar Moghaddam won the Best Actor Award and the Best Actress Award respectively. Chinese cinematographer AO IEONG Weng Fong was the winner of the Best Cinematographer Award for the film Blue Amber.
The winners of the Golden Goblet Awards for Short Films were also announced the same night. The Russian animation Tweet-Tweet won the Golden Goblet Award for Best Animated Short Film, and the Chinese film White Sheep in the Car won the Award for Best Live Action Short Film. With the jury members and presenters of the Asian New Talent Award recalling their experiences as newcomers, and the young winners telling their stories with films, the awards ceremony was full of fresh blood and new ideas from beginning to end.
In recent years, the Shanghai International Film Festival, adhering to the orientation of “Focusing on Asia, Promoting Chinese Films, and Supporting New Talents”, has constantly been innovating and refining the mechanisms for developing new talents and projects, and has formed a step-by-step incubation system, consisting of four steps for new filmmakers to build on, namely the Golden Goblet Short Films Category, SIFF Project, Asian New Talent Award, and the Golden Goblet Awards, which interlock and come with the whole process industry chain support. The festival sets out to scout new talents from the Short Film Category; SIFF Project helps young filmmakers produce feature films and prepares them for entering the industry; Asian New Talent Award comprehensively recommends, encourages, and recognizes young filmmakers, helping them enter the industry and complete more mature works; eventually they will come to the stage of the Golden Goblet Awards competition. Among these steps, the Asian New Talent Awards has played a very important transitional role in this system. This year, the movies shortlisted for the award such as Blue Amber and The Road Not Taken, all stood out from the competition of SIFF Project.
Winners taking a group photo
Nansun SHI, president of the jury for Asian New Talent Award, said: "One of the characteristics of the Asian New Talent Award is that all the nominees for the six awards are nominated for their first or second works. Any industry must have newcomers joining in to thrive. The newcomers in the film industry are the future and hope of film.” Looking back on her work as a jury member this week, she said: “During these 4 days, I watched 15 movies, a record since I joined the industry many years ago and a very inspiring experience too."
Jury for this year’s Asian New Talent Award (from left to right): ZENG Jian (China), SONG Jia (China), Nansun SHI (Hong Kong, China), Raya MARTIN (the Philippines), Midi Z (Burma)
The biggest suspense of the night - the Best Film Award, was presented by the president of the jury for Asian New Talent Award, Nansun SHI, and the well-known director NING Hao. Thirteen years ago, NING Hao’s film Mongolian Ping Pong won the Most Popular Film Award at the Asian New Talent Award, 8th SIFF. Grateful to the Asian New Talent Award for its recognition and kind support he received as a new director, NING Hao jokingly referred to his return as a presenter to the stage of the Awards as “coming back home” and reaffirmed the contribution of the Awards to cinema.
The Best Film Award was jointly presented by Nansun SHI and NING Hao
After receiving the trophy of the Best Film Award, TANG Gaopeng, director of The Road Not Taken, delivered a speech on behalf of the cast and crew. In addition to thanking his colleagues, he also expressed his awe at film: "The light of film illuminates me again and again. I will collect it, and then reflect it to illuminate those who believe in and need such light."
XU Zheng, actor, director and ambassador of this year’s SIFF Asian New Talent Awards, said in his speech: "'Newcomer' is a synonym for the 'hope’ of a country’s film industry. On the road of filmmaking, if you feel lonely, that is because you are gathering strength; if you feel gloomy, it is because you are about to see the light at the end of the tunnel; if you feel at loss, it is because you are thinking about the depth of this era and the ideal that film bestows on you; believe in film, it will ignite the dazzling fireworks and illuminate your way home with its powerful magic to build a dream world and make history."
XU Zheng, actor, director and ambassador of Asian New Talent Award
Director of City of Rock DONG Chengpeng (Da Peng) recalled his journey from attending Shanghai International Film Festival as a network reporter ten years ago, to directing and acting in mini web series, and then to directing his first feature Jian Bing Man, and later City of Rock. He spoke emotionally about his appearance on the stage of the SIFF Asian New Talent Award as a nearly forty-year-old newcomer: "I hope that I will treat every movie I may make in the future as though it were my very first one, no matter in how many years."
Famous actors such as TU Men, HAO Lei, TAO Hong, MA Yizhen, SONG Jia, and YANG Zishan successively appeared on the stage. YANG Zishan said that she has appeared in several young directors' works, some of which are their debuts, "In fact, we all are and should be newcomers. For only if we remember our dreams in the beginning can we stay young at heart."