The Hong Kong International Film Festival named Zheng Lu Xinyuan’s “The Cloud in Her Room” and “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection” by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese as winners of its Firebird Young Cinema competitions, despite the event having been canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival was initially postponed from its usual spring slot to summer due to the coronavirus, and was eventually canceled. But organizers revealed the names of the films they selected and then saw the competition sections judged by a virtual jury. They handed out 13 awards

“The Cloud in Her Room” was the winner in the Chinese-language category, with its lead star Jin Jing also bagging the best actress award. The jury headed by auteur Stanley Kwan, director and cinematographer O Sing-pui and May Fung, independent art and cultural worker, called the drama, Zheng’s debut, “witty” and “a delicate portrait of the new generation’s state of mind.”

First-time director Liang Ming was named best director with “Wisdom Tooth.” The film’s male lead Wu Xiaoliang won the best actor.

“This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection” by Lesotho filmmaker Mosese earned high praise. They called it “a compelling mix of myth, magic, and realism” and said it “resonates with raw emotion.” The film also wins the FIPRESCI Prize.

The film stars the late Mary Twala Mhlongo as widow Mantoa, who grieves for the loss of her son and determines to be buried with her dead family in her home village. Her compelling performance earned her the best actress award, the jury said.

Pushpendra Singh won the best director in the world category with “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs” and Bakhtiyar Panjeei was named the best actor with his performance in “The Alien.”