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‘Snow in Midsummer’ and ‘Sons’ Take Firebird Awards at Hong Kong Film Festival – Global Bulletin

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BRIGHT SPARKS IN HONG KONG

Snow in Midsummer,” which quietly probes the 1969 massacre of Malaysian Chinese during post-election turmoil, was named the winner of the best film for young cinema competition (Chinese-language) at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Liang Ming was named best director for “Carefree Days,” while the film’s female lead Lyu Xingchen collected the best actress award. Jason King won the best actor award for his performance in “A Journey in Spring.”

In the equivalent competition for non-Chinese films Gustav Moeller’s “Sons” was named the Firebird winner. Meryam Joobeur won the best director award for her “Who Do I Belong To.” The best actor award went to Vangelis Mourikis for his role in “Arcadia.” Minna Wuendrich was named best actress for her performance in “Ivo.” The jury also gave a special mention to “Pepe,” directed by Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias.

In the documentary competition, the jury unanimously awarded the Firebird Award to “Favoriten,” by Austrian director Ruth Beckermann. Hong Kong director Wong Siu-pong took the jury prize with “Obedience.” Margherita Giusti received the Firebird Award in the short film competition with “The Meatseller.” The jury prize went to “Shrooms,” by Portuguese director Jorge Jacome.

The 12-day HKIFF48 will conclude Tuesday, after showcasing over 190 films from 62 countries and regions. It will return next year April 10-21, 2025.

YO HO HO

The Far East Film Festival in Italy’s Udine will open with YOLO on April 24, it has been announced. The film is the highest grossing Chinese title this year with a box office of over $500 million that kicked off during the Lunar New Year holidays and was also acquired by Sony Pictures for international release. It was directed by and starred Jia Ling (who previously headed another smash hit “Hi, Mom”) and is an adaptation of Japanese film “100 Yen Love,” which played at Udine in 2015.

Courtesy of Far East Film Festival (Udine)

SPECIAL TREAT

Something Special, a leading Seoul-based international format agency, and AR Asia Productions, a Hong Kong-based production company, have been selected by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) to spearhead its LEAP Creative Lab project.

The initiative aims to elevate the creativity of Taiwanese producers through immersive learning experiences and collaborative development opportunities. The year-long project will be led by Something Special and AR Asia Productions, with activities throughout 2024.

A three-day master class program in Taipei is scheduled to take place April 10-12, with 50 producers and selected companies participating and instructors hailing from Korea.

Following the class, a creative workshop will be held in the latter half of 2024. From the initial cohort of 50 participants, eight standout companies will be selected for intensive mentoring by Korean professionals and development of their IP.

TEMPLE DOCUMENTARY SERIES

Indian filmmaker Priyadarshan (“Corona Papers”) has wrapped an as-yet-untitled five-part documentary series on the history of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, northern India, which was consecrated in January. The series will air on state broadcaster Doordarshan. “We navigated sensitive subjects with care while faithfully presenting the historical narrative. This was indeed the greatest challenge,” Priyadarshan said.