The Divorce

Kazakh Drama ‘The Divorce’, China’s ‘Friday, Funfair’ Take Top Awards In Shanghai

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The Divorce, directed by Kazakh filmmaker Daniyar Salamat, was awarded best film and best actress in the Golden Goblet Awards of this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (June 14-23).

Set on the Kazakh grasslands in the mid-1920s, the film follows a man who accidentally divorces his wife by uttering the word “talaq” three times during a heated argument. While he desperately seeks a reconciliation, his wife, influenced by the burgeoning women’s rights movement, entertains the idea of divorce.

The Jury Grand Prix went to Argentinian film Adult, directed by Mariano Gonzalez, about a teenage boy who has to look after himself when his father disappears. Best director was awarded to Georgian director Bakur Bakuradze for Snowflakes In My Yard.

Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming was awarded best actor for Don’t Worry, Be Happy, directed by Wei Shujun, in which he plays a mentally challenged man dealing with his mother’s cancer diagnosis. 

Other Chinese award winners included Gu Changwei’s The Hedgehog, which won best screenplay (Zheng Zhi, Guo Fangfang, Gu), and Guan Hu’s A Man And A Woman, which took best cinematography (Zhang Ying). 

French director Tran Anh Hung headed the competition jury, which also included Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer, German director Matthias Glasner, Hong Kong star Tony Leung Ka-fai, Argentinian director Santiago Mitre, Chinese actress Zhou Xun and Tibetan director Sonthar Gyal.

Over in the Asian New Talent Awards, best film went to Friday, Funfair, from Chinese director Zeng Zhi, while Indian filmmaker Abhilash Sharma’s In The Name Of Fire won best director and best actor (Satya Ranjan). See full list of winners below..

Winners at the festival’s SIFF Project industry event for projects in development and works-in-progress included Zou Jing’s A Girl Unknown, which took Best Talent Project and the Aputure Pictures Award; Zhang Xinyang’s Cold Water, a work-in-progress which won the Juries’ Choice; and Charles Hu’s As River Goes By, which took Best WIP Project. 



Best Feature Film: The Divorce (Kazakhstan), dir: Daniyar Salamat

Jury Grand Prix: Adult (Argentina), dir: Mariano Gonzalez

Best Director: Bakur Bakuradze, Snowflakes In My Yard (Georgia, Russia)

Best Actor: Huang Xiaoming, Don’t Worry, Be Happy (China)

Best Actress: Omarova Amira, The Divorce (Kazakhstan)

Best Screenplay: Zheng Zhi, Guo Fangfang, Gu Changwei, The Hedgehog (China)

Best Cinematography: Zhang Ying, A Man And A Woman (China, Hong Kong)

Outstanding Artistic Achievement: The Wasteman (Iran), dir: Ahmad Bahram

Best Documentary Film: Ms. Hu’s Garden (China), dir: Pan Zhiqi

Best Animation Film: The Colors Within (Japan), dir: Naoko Yamada

Best Live Action Short Film: The Event Horizon (Israel), dir: Shira Geffen

Best Animated Short Film: Kill The Horse (China), dir: Guo Xiaoruo


Best Film: Friday, Funfair (China), dir: Zeng Zhi

Best Director: Abhilash Sharma, In The Name Of Fire (India)

Best Actor: Satya Ranjan, In The Name Of Fire (India)

Best Actress: Jayashiri, Bird Of A Different Feather (India)

Best Scriptwriter: Zhang Xuyu, Fishbone (China)

Best Cinematography: Huang Shaohui, Habitat (China)