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HKIFF41 honors filmmakers with awards of five competition sections and
the Audience Choice Award
Professional jurors and nominees attend the ceremony


23 April 2017 (Hong Kong) – At Awards Gala at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF41) revealed the winning films for five award categories, in recognition of filmmakers’ outstanding achievement. These include the “Young Cinema Competition”, the “Documentary Competition” and the “Short Film Competition” under the Firebird Award Competition, as well as the “FIPRESCI Prize” and the “SIGNIS Award”. Winner of the newly added “Audience Choice Award”, supported by Hearts On Fire, was also announced today.

Each competition was judged by an independent jury, consisting of renowned industry figures. Distinguished Polish director, Agnieszka HOLLAND, who won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for her film Spoor at the Berlin International Film Festival 2017, led the jury for the Firebird Young Cinema Competition. Other jurors including Colin GEDDES, ex-programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival; Thomas SOTINEL of prestigious French newspaper Le Monde; local acclaimed actor Anthony WONG; Mary STEPHEN, the film editor for French New Wave director Éric ROHMER and Canadian director Ann Marie FLEMING (see Appendix for complete list of jurors). Director JIA Zhangke, the founder of JIA Screen, also joined the Gala to present the award of “Short Film Competition”. The Firebird Awards trophy is re-designed by HKIFF41 key art designer WONG San Mun this year, giving a fresh image to this notable award.

The Young Cinema Competition is set up to encourage young filmmakers to explore the potential of the cinema of our times. Eight films from a range of countries including South Korea, Georgia, India, France, Portugal, France, the USA, China and Japan competed for the awards. The coveted Firebird Award was given to My Happy Family, directed by Nana & Simon. The jurors praised the film “for its sensitive portrait of the social and psychological changes that are influencing the gender roles in traditional society. Both subtle and truthful, the directors crafted a realistic family dynamic with a talented ensemble of actors.” Amit V MASURKAR’s Newton won the Jury Prize this year, “for the intelligent and human presentation of a political situation in a divided country. The film balances the humour, disillusion and – against all odds – a steadfast belief in the meaning of democracy,” as commented by the jurors.

Filmmakers around the world embrace the documentary genre to reflect aspects of reality and address social issues. The Documentary Competition was set up to recognize filmmakers for their devotion and contribution in creating documentaries that inspire audiences. The jury unanimously awards the Firebird prize to House in the Fields, directed by Tala HADID: "The film celebrates two young women in Northern Morocco who share their aspirations for their lives. The director Tala HADID achieves beautiful balance in form and content to give audiences access to an otherwise isolated world." The Jury Prize was awarded to MA Li’s Inmates. The jurors cited “The director displays discretion, respect and patience in telling the stories of the inmates. MA Li leads us into the mental world of the patients, and manages to move the viewer deeply with a very subtle approach.”

Short film is a unique genre for filmmakers to express their creativity and to experiment with the possibilities in filmmaking. The Short Film Competition offers a platform for directors to exchange visions and ideas. The Festival selected 20 entries this year, among which Gabrielle LISSOT’s Jukaiwon the Firebird Award. The jurors praised “this beautiful film makes excellent use of every element – sound, design, colour, movement – to paint a poignant portrait of the connectedness of life and shows how even the delicate strings of hope that may not save us from our own despair can still nurture new generations.” Nishikawa Tomonari’s Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon was awarded the Jury Prize. The jurors recognized this film for its “multiple-layered meanings, regarding but not limited to temporality, spatiality, spirituality and the plastic materiality of film in representing and at the same time distorting reality, can be inferred from this simple 16mm experimental film using seemingly anachronistic yet timeless and effective analogue technology.” David OREILLY’s Everything received Special Mention. The jurors spoke highly of its creativity: “A 360 degree animation experiment, from our planet to the universe. With good use of audio of old narration which fits in the main concept of the work, leading to a multi-perspectives visual journey.”

FIPRESCI is an association of the national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world. The FIPRESCI Prize recognizes enterprising filmmaking and promotes young talent in Asian cinema. The award this year went to LEE Seung-won’s Happy Bus Day, “for its satirical interpretation of Korean TV dramas full of black humor and unconventional ideas” as complimented by the jurors.

Established in 2004 and co-organized by the HKIFF and SIGNIS Hong Kong, the SIGNIS Award salutes films that fully express social and humanitarian concerns, as well as spiritual and artistic values. MORI Yoshitaka’s Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow won the SIGNIS Award, “for its vivid depiction of a contemporary 'tragic hero', who was bound by the 'win-lose' game, missing all beautiful things in life. The film reflects on the meaning of life - beyond materialistic gains, there is also love and passion.” And Jan HŘEBEJK’s The Teacher received the Commendation, which jurors praised “for its portrait of a secondary school teacher's exploitation of the students and their parents. A realistic reflection of our society, the film makes us contemplate the ways of facing conflict and injustice under different political systems, so that we may live our lives with dignity.”

An “Audience Choice Award” is newly added this year, with the support from premium sponsor Hearts On Fire. Mad World, directed by WONG Chun, obtained the highest voting score from the audience, and won the debut “Audience Choice Award”. An audience member who voted for it was selected from the lucky draw and won the 2018 Cine Fan Patron Privilege worth HK$10,000.

To download information and film stills:
Log In: Press
Password: HK1FFPress
Folder: HKIFF41/ Press Release/ 20170423 – Awards Gala

- Ends -


Appendix – List of Jurors and Award Winners
Young Cinema Competition
Jury and Award Presenter: Agnieszka HOLLAND, Colin GEDDES, Thomas SOTINEL, Anthony WONG

Award Film Director
Firebird Award My Happy Family Nana & Simon
Jury Prize Newton Amit V MASURKAR

Documentary Competition
Jury and Award Presenter: Mary STEPHEN, Wood LIN, Dean NAPOLITANO
Award Presenter: ISHII Yuya

Award Film Director
Firebird Award House in the Fields Tala HADID
Jury Prize Inmates MA Li

Short Film Competition
Jury and Award Presenter: Ann Marie FLEMING, LEE Daw-Ming, Jonathan HUNG
Award Presenter: JIA Zhangke, the founder of JIA Screen

Award Film Director
Firebird Award Jukai Gabrielle LISSOT
Jury Prize Ten Mornings Ten Evenings And One Horizon NISHIKAWA Tomonari
Special Mention Everything David OREILLY

Jury and Award Presenter: Virea LANGEROVÁ, Steven TU, William LAU
Awarded Film: Happy Bus Day | Director: LEE Seung-won

Jury: Peter MALONE, Francisco K.C. LIO, Andy TANG
Award Presenter: Most Reverend Michael YEUNG Ming Cheung





Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow

MORI Yoshitaka


The Teacher


Audience Choice Award
Awarded Film: Mad World | Director: WONG Chun


About The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)

The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of the Asia’s oldest and most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new work and experience outstanding films.

Screening around 250 titles from more than 55 countries in over 11 major cultural venues across the territory, the Festival is Hong Kong’s largest cultural event. For the past seven years, HKIFF has also produced and premiered anthologies of short films by well-known award winning filmmakers from Asia such as Ann HUI, KUROSAWA Kiyoshi, JIA Zhangke, Brillante MENDOZA, NAKATA Hideo, TSAI Ming-liang, Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL and among others. From 2017, HKIFF will collaborate with Heyi Pictures to produce two feature films a year by young Chinese filmmakers that will world premiere at HKIFF.

Committed to discovering new talent, the Festival premieres the breadth of Chinese cinema and showcases Asian talents. Festival-goers enjoy world-class films, attend seminars hosted by leading filmmakers from around the world, visit film exhibitions, participate in receptions and parties, and more.

The Festival draws extensive media coverage from over 300 local and international members of the press and continues to grow in importance as one of the premier platforms to launch films in Asia.

The 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF41) will be held from 11 to 25 April 2017.


About The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited (HKIFFS/Society) is a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organisation dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the art and culture of film.

The Society is committed to making world cinema accessible and affordable to the public. It organizes the annual flagship the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in March and April. Another annual highlight is the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) held every August. The repertory HKIFF Cine Fan Programme was launched in April 2013 with the aim to enrich and deepen the experience of Hong Kong moviegoers through a monthly programme of contemporary, retrospective and thematic showcases.

Through its annual programmes, the Society promotes international appreciation of Asian, Hong Kong and Chinese film culture; introduces world cinema to Hong Kong audiences; and continues to underline Hong Kong’s key position in the international film community.

HKIFFS’s dedication to quality and intelligent programming, its devotion to the discovery of new areas of filmmaking in Asia and China, its exceptional work for Hong Kong cinema, seminars and acclaimed publications, gives it a unique and respected international reputation that helps promote Hong Kong cinema at home and abroad.

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