Snow In Midsummer

‘Snow In Midsummer’, ‘Sons’ Win Top Firebird Awards At HKIFF

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Snow In Midsummer, from Malaysian director Chong Keat-aun, won best film in the Young Cinema Competition (Chinese-language) at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. Swedish director Gustav Möller’s Sons took the same award in the Young Cinema Competition (World).

The jury for the Chinese-language competition commended Chong for “demonstrating extraordinary courage in recounting the traumatic experiences of Malaysian travelling players”. The Malaysia-Singapore-Taiwan co-production revolves around a Cantonese street opera troupe during a turbulent period in Malaysia’s political history in the late 1960s.

Also in this section, China’s Liang Ming took home best director for Carefree Days, which also won best actress for Lyu Xingchen’s performance. Jason King won best actor for A Journey In Spring, co-directed by Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hui, which also won the prize of the FIPRESCI jury. 

In the Young Cinema Competition (World) section, the jury described Sons as a “masterfully crafted and a great balance between storytelling and human depth”. Tunisian director Meryam Joobeur took best director in this section for Who Do I Belong To

Best actor went to Vangelis Mourikis for Greek drama Arcadia, while German actress Minna Wündrich won best actress for Ivo. The jury also gave a Special Mention to Pepe, directed by Dominican Republic filmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias.

In the Documentary Competition, the jury unanimously awarded the Firebird Award to Favoriten by Austrian director Ruth Beckermann, commending it for “reminding us how it only takes one person to make a difference for the next generations”.  

Hong Kong director Wong Siu-pong took the Jury Prize with Obedience for “showing the inseparable relationship between people and the society they live in”. The Jury also gave a Special Mention to Intercepted by Ukrainian director Oksana Karpovych.

In the Short Film Competition, Italian filmmaker Margherita Giusti received the Firebird Award with The Meatseller, while the Jury Prize went to Shrooms by Portuguese director Jorge Jácome.

Hong Kong International Film Festival took place from March 28 to April 8.