The 24th Shanghai International Film Festival wrapped up in style on Saturday night, as the Chinese film Manchurian tiger won the Golden Goblet Award for Best Feature Film at a star-studded closing ceremony in China’s commercial capital.
Directed by self-taught Chinese filmmaker Geng Jun, Manchurian tiger is a dark comedy-drama set in the far northeast of the country and follows a chain of calamities that begins when a man prepares his partner’s pet dog to serve him to a group of ruthless debt collectors. Eventually, an unlikely bond forms between the two men as they each grapple with their setbacks and the bitter ironies of their lives become inevitable.
China’s oldest international film event, the Shanghai Festival has presented more than 400 Chinese and foreign films over its 10-day span this year, making it the first large-scale in-person film festival in stand in the country in the midst of the pandemic era. International guests were mostly unable to attend the event due to continuous China’s border controls and lengthy quarantine requirements, but the occasion proved to be extremely popular with Chinese moviegoers, with virtually all showings sold out and tickets to hundreds of dollars per showing on the resale market.
Iranian filmmaker Abolfazl Jalili won the best director award in Shanghai for The opposite way, while its star Pouyan Shekari won the award for best actor. Iranian films had a strong showing in Shanghai this year, with seven titles showing in the selection. Their participation was punctuated by news unveiled on June 9 that the Iranian government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Film Bureau to expand relations between the two countries in the film industry.
Jalili went to the Shanghai Closing Ceremony to accept his Golden Goblet Trophy via video, saying, âThe distance is not a problem for us to communicate. I hope that one day I can cooperate with Chinese filmmakers on a new production that explores humanity.
The Golden Goblet winners were chosen by a jury chaired by Chinese producer Huang Jianxi, the rest of the jury being made up of Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen, Chinese actor-director Deng Chao, Chinese actor Song Jia, the former head of the Venice festival Marco Mueller. and French producer based in China Natacha Devillers. Unlike in most years, there weren’t any established Hollywood names among the jury.
Polish actress Marzena Gajewska won the best actress trophy for her role in director Iwona Siekierzynska’s feature film Amateurs. Malaysian cinema Barbarian invasion won the grand jury prize, while the Russian prison breakout film Consciousness received the award for artistic excellence. The full list of winners is below.
The Shanghai International Film Festival ends Sunday with reruns of the festival’s winners. Organizers have expressed optimism that the event will open to international participation in 2022 for its 25th edition.
Best Feature Film: Manchurian tiger, China
Grand Jury Prize: Barbarian invasion, Malaysia
Best Director: Abolfazl Jalili, The opposite way, Iran
Best Screenplay: Alexey Viktorovich Kozlov, Consciousness, Russia
Best Actress: Marzena Gajewska, Amateurs, Poland
Best Actor: Pouyan Shekari, The opposite way, Iran
Exceptional artistic achievement: Consciousness, Russia
Best Cinematography: Viatcheslav Tuyrin, Consciousness, Russia
Best Documentary Film: Sisyphus, Mexico
Best Animated Feature: Even mice belong to heaven, Czech Republic / France / Poland
Best Live Action Short Film: Double helix, China
Best Animated Short: Light madness, lasting madness, France