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HKIFF: ‘First Farewell’ and ‘You Have the Night’ Win Firebird Prizes

Xinjiang-set “A First Farewell” was named the best film in the Chinese section of the Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Firebird awards competition for young film makers. Montenegro-based Ivan Salatic’s “You Have the Night’ won the equivalent award in the rest of the world section.

Prizes were awarded at a ceremony on Sunday evening. The festival, which gou underway on March 18, draws to a close on Monday night.

A Chinese jury headed by Jiang Wen said that “Farewell” represents “near perfection” for a debut feature. Directed by Wang Lina, it “offers a lucid exposition of the characters’ heart and mind, and the actions driven by their inner selves. A debut feature that achieves high congruity between form and contents.”

The world cinema jury headed by veteran French critic, Michel Ciment rewarded “”YouHave Te Night” for “its depiction of a city by the sea and the closure of a shipyard (which) is also a portrayal of several generations, and the political evolution of a country.”

Acting prizes in the Chinese section went to Dang Yu as best actor in Xu Zhenhao’s “give Me A Ride” and to Huang Yao as best actress in “The Crossing.” Xu was also named best director.

In the world section the best director award went to Bas Devos for “Hellhole.” Gustav Lindh of “Queen of Hearts” and Martina Apostolova of “Irina” were named the best actor and best actress respectively.

For the Documentary Competition, the jury unanimously gave the Firebird Award to “Midnight Family” directed by Luke Lorentzen for “its non-judgmental approach to a story of interlocked poverty and tragedy is deeply moving.” The Jury Prize was awarded to Advocate directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche.

“All These Creatures,” directed by Charles Williams was selected as the Firebird Award winner in the Short Film Competition. The Jury Prize was awarded to “The Call,” directed by Anca Damian.

This year’s FIPRESCI Prize went to “The Golden-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain” directed by Ridham Janve, who “assembled a narrative that blends nature and spirituality into an irresistible and immersive flow.”

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