×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Feng’s ‘Back to 1942’ Wins In Beijing

BEIJING — China’s most popular helmer Feng Xiaogang scooped the  feature film award at the Beijing Film Festival for his famine pic “Back to 1942,” as the third edition of the fest closed in the Chinese capital on Tuesday.

Feng’s chronicle of a deadly famine in Henan province during WWII  also won for visual effects in the fest’s inaugural Tiantan Awards.

Feng was unable to attend, so the award was picked up by producer Wang Zhongjun, scribe Liu Zhenyun and thesps Zhang Guoli and Xufan.

“This movie has a serious theme, with heavy emotions and looks at human nature. It dares to examine people’s lives in dark times. There was a vacuum in this area of filmmaking in China and this film filled that gap,” said Wang.

Feng’s movie chimed with an event that was uppermost on people’s minds — the earthquake that struck Sichuan province at the weekend and killed at least 188 people.

The red carpet at the closing event was changed to blue to commemorate the casualties of the Ya’an quake, while stars toned down their appearance and carried white roses to mark their mourning for the victims. Helmer Chen Kaige recited a poem to  express his sorrow about the earthquake.

Chinese star Yan Bingyan won actress for her role in Wang Jing’s “Feng Shui,” while Terence Stamp won actor for “Song for Marion,” which also won screenplay.

Cate Shortland won director for “Lore,” while Helena Bonham Carter scooped supporting actress for “Great Expectations” and Vahagn Simonyan won supporting actor for the Armenian film “If Only Everyone,” which also won in the music category.

Canadian-French co-production “Inch’Allah” won a special jury award.

The Tiantan jury was led by Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, and the fest featured a retrospective of his work. Also on the jury was Toronto Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey, British helmer Ivor Benjamin, Australian producer Geoff Brown, South Korea’s Kang Je-gyu and Chinese helmers Gu Changwei and Zhang Yibai.

The awards honored a cross-section of international and Chinese stars, underlining the fest’s mandate of reflecting the heady growth of the Chinese biz while reaching out to Hollywood and other overseas markets.

Organizers emphasized fest’s international scale, as a strong film biz is central to China’s efforts to push “soft power” around the world, and show that it can match its remarkable economic rise with serious cultural credentials.

Over the fest’s eight days, Hollywood bigwigs including DreamWorks Animation topper Jeffrey Katzenberg and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy were in attendance, and announced major deals while in town.

It closed with a performance at the Chinese National Convention Center, featuring international stars including  Sarah Brightman and Jackie Chan.

Brightman is enormously popular in China, and she wowed auds with a performance of the “Phantom of the Opera” theme song. Chopsocky legend Chan displayed his kung fu skills with Taiwanese star Jay Chou.

Also attending were helmers Zhang Yimou, John Woo, Luc Besson and Keanu Reeves.

More Film

  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    China Box Office: Weekend Chart Dominated By Non-Chinese Films

    Unusually, all of the top five films at the China box office this weekend were non-Chinese. That’s a relatively rare occurrence, as audiences typically favor local films over foreign content. But it is one that may happen more often, as high-performing local titles become fewer and farther between due to production slowdowns. The lack of [...]

  • White Lie

    Playtime Boards Canadian Psychological Thriller 'White Lie' Starring Kacey Rohl (EXCLUSIVE)

    One of France’s leading sales companies, Playtime has boarded “White Lie,” a character-driven psychological thriller film from the promising new Toronto-based directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Now in post-production, “White Lie” is headlined by Kacey Rohl, who has been seen in hit TV series such as “The Killing,” “Arrow,” “Hannibal” and “Wayward Pines.” Rohl [...]

  • Cannes’ Focus CoPro’ Gives Push for

    Cannes’ Focus CoPro’ Gives Push for First-Time Features

    CANNES–Seven first-feature projects will be pitched to an audience of industry professionals at Focus CoPro’, an event hosted by Cannes’ Short Film Corner that will take place Tuesday May 21 at the Palais des Festivals. The pitching session, which is run in collaboration with Nisi Masa and the Pop Up Film Residency, was introduced last year [...]

  • Cannes: Star Alliance Movies Takes Wide’s

    Cannes: Star Alliance Movies Takes Wide’s ‘Blast’ for China (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES  —  Hong Kong’s Star Alliance Movies has pounced on all rights to China on “Blast,” a race against the clock thriller that marks the first full production from Wide, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based sales-production-distribution company. The deal, made against a background of slowing sales to China, represents the first pre-sale on “Blast,” which is now [...]

  • Brazil’s Cinemascopio, France’s Les Valseurs Team

    Brazil’s Cinemascopio, France’s Les Valseurs Team For Nara Normande, Tião’s ‘The Heron’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES — Recife-based CinemaScópio Produções and Paris’ Les Valseurs have teamed on “A Garça” (The Heron), the feature debut from Brazil’s Nara Normande, co-authored by Tião. Brazilian CinemaScópio is behind Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Brazilian Western-thriller “Bacurau,” in competition at Cannes. Les Valseurs is also presenting Qiu Yang’s short “She Runs” at Critics’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content