Chinese pic tops H.K. fest kudos

Zhu's second pic nabs two awards

HONG KONG–“South of the Clouds” took two out of five awards at the 28th Hong Kong International Film Festival last week.

The mainland China film, directed by Zhu Wen, garnered the Firebird Award for Young Cinema and the FIPRESCI Prize, which was awarded by the Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique (International Federation of Film Critics). Zhu’s second feature film focuses on a middle-aged man’s desire to travel to Yunnan province and the trouble he gets into once he arrives.

The Asian DV award went to “Incense,” directed by Ning Hao, also from the mainland. In the Shanxi dialect, the pic follows a monk who tries to raise funds to repair a Buddha statue.

“S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine” won the Humanitarian Award. The Cambodian-French film takes a look at the country’s haunting history; it was directed by Rithy Panh, who was also a camp escapee.

The SIGNIS award made its debut at this year’s fest and went to “Since Otar Left, helmed by Julie Bertuccelli. The award gives a nod to pics with artistic, human, social and spiritual values. The French film is about a family of women who struggle to hide the death of the mother’s only son.

The fest will wrap April 21.

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