Sunday, April 3, 2016

Guest post: Pimpaka Towira a double winner in Hong Kong

Pimpaka Towira, second from left, at the HKIFF Awards Gala with, from left, Lam Kam‐po, Anita Piotrowska and Stephen Teo.

Keith Barclay is editor of the New Zealand film industry publication Screenz. A sponsored journalist covering Filmart, he offers Wise Kwai's Thai Film Journal tailored coverage of Filmart, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, the Asian Film Awards and the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

As the Hong Kong International Film Festival closed, Thai filmmaker Pimpaka Towira took two awards at the festival's gala night on Saturday.

When Pimpaka's The Island Funeral (มหาสมุทรและสุสาน, Maha Samut Lae Susaan) had its world premiere at last year's Tokyo International Film Festival it was awarded the Asian Future Best Film Award. On Saturday evening in Hong Kong, it added the Fipresci Prize at the Hong Kong fest. The Fipresci Prize, a film-critics' honor presented at several festivals with a strong focus on Asian cinema, promotes Asian filmmaking.

Since its Tokyo premiere The Island Funeral has played a number of festivals and will head to the Buenos Aires Film Festival later this month.

As well as taking the Fipresci Award, Pimpaka picked up a second award in Hong Kong, for her short Prelude to the General (Nimit Luang). Premiered at this year's Berlinale in February, Prelude took the Jury Prize in the HKIFF's short film competition. It is a spin-off project of Pimpaka's upcoming feature The General's Secret. Portuguese director Leonor Teles' Batrachian’s Ballad won the short film competition.

The HKIFF presented awards for three competitive line-ups, Young Cinema, Documentary and Short Films, plus two other juried awards – the Fipresci and Signis awards. All together, the HKIFF presented more than 280 titles from more than 50 countries, selling more than 600,000 tickets.

This year's Hong Kong International Film Festival, the 40th edition, ran from March 21 to April 4.

Here is the complete list of HKIFF award winners:

Young Cinema Competition

  • Firebird Award: Life After Life
  • Jury Prize: Tomcat

Documentary Competition

  • Firebird Award: Behemoth
  • Jury Prize: Under the Sun

Short Film Competition

  • Firebird Award: Batrachian’s Ballad
  • Jury Prize: Prelude to the General

Fipresci Prize

  • The Island Funeral

Signis Award

  • Land of Mine
  • Commended: Truman

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