Zhang’s ‘Road’ tops festivals

Second edition of the festival drew 330 submissions from 60 countries

SINGAPORE — China’s Zhang Jiarui’s helming and producing debut, “The Road,” received film honors Wednesday at the Asian Festival of First Films Awards, held at Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall here. Zhang and Daju Yuan took the screenplay prize for the pic on fest’s closing day.

Second edition of the festival started Nov. 29 and showcased 22 nominated films and documentaries. This year it drew 330 submissions from 60 countries, a 40% rise in entries from last year’s event.

Fest’s opening film, India’s “Dombivli Fast,” produced and helmed by Ramakant S. Gakwad, and the Vietnamese-language “Journey From the Fall,” produced by Lam Nguyen and helmed by Ham Tran, shared both producer and director kudos.

Cinematographer award was shared by Tassaduq Hussain for “Omkara” and Bobby Singh for “Gangster.”

Thesping winners were actor Le Go for Taiwanese entry “The Road in the Air” and actress Kangana Ranaut for India’s “Gangster.”

Jury included thesp Cecilia Yip, U.S. producer James V. Hart, Indian helmer Ketan Mehta, documaker Michael Yorke and Germany lenser Volker Langhoff.

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