Italian director Laura Bispuri’s “Sworn Virgin” won the Firebird Award, the top prize in the young filmmakers’ competition section, at The Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 23 – April 6, 2015).
A debut film, it treats both the socio-political and the magical in the tale of a woman who escapes slavery by promising to remain a virgin and take on a male body. Xin Yukun’s “The Coffin in the Mountain” received a special mention in the same section, while “K” by DE Bulag and Emyr ap Richard won the Jury Prize. “K,” which distils Franz Kafka’s absurdist fable about bureaucracy into a modern tale of existential struggle against alienation and questionable authority, also claimed the Fipresci Prize.
In the documentary competition the Firebird went to “I Am the People,” which probes beneath the grassroots of Egypt’s political drama and is directed by Anna Roussillon. The Jury Prize was awarded to Du Haibin’s “A Young Patriot.”
Li Ruijun’s “River Road” won the SIGNIS Award and Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix” received a special mention.
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The awards presentation was made by actress Snadra Ng at a gala on Friday in Hong Kong followed by a screening of Tsui Hark’s “The Taking of Tiger Mountain.”
The festival will close on Monday with the world premiere of the director’s cut of “Port of Call,” a brutal murder mystery based on real events in Hong Kong.