The World War II spy thriller, The Message (风声, pinyin: Fēngshēng), was named Best Film at the 17th Beijing Student Film Festival on the weekend. The Message, an intriguing and suspenseful whodunnit set in 1942 during the Japanese occupation of the mainland, was both a critical and popular success when it was released back in September.
The Beijing Student Film Festival, which runs annually, culminates in an awards ceremony where winners are selected by a jury of film critics and academics. Students are also given the opportunity to select a handful of "most popular' awards. In total 39 films were shortlisted for the awards and a total of 21 awards were handed out.
Best Actor was won by Huang Bo (黄渤 - pictured right) for his performance in the comedy Cow. The 35 year old with the anti-idol looks, has already collected a Golden Horse Award for his role as a bumbling farmer. Bo made his film debut just four years ago in the black comedy/heist film Crazy Stone, followed it up with another popular comedy Crazy Racer and has become hot property. Cow was just one of six films he appeared in last year, and already this year has three movies to his credit.
In a decision that came out of left field, the relatively unknown (at least outside China) Tao Hong (陶红) was awarded Best Actress. She won for her performance in a film called Fragrance of Rice (米香), of which I know absolutely nothing. Tao is known mainly as a TV actor; in fact I think Fragrance of Rice might be her film debut. Best Director was given to Wang Quan'an (王全安) for Apart Together which, like The Message and Cow, was also set during the Second World War. Wang is a two-time winner at the Berlin Film Festival, winning a Best Director prize in 2007 for Tuya's Marriage, and Best Screenplay this year for Apart Together.
In the student-voted awards Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明), who gave a scene-stealing performance as a sadistic interrogator in The Message, was voted Most Popular Actor. Vicki Zhao (赵薇, pinyin: Zhào Wéi) was named Most Popular Actress, the third time she has won this particular award.
For the second year in a row Hong Kong director Wilson Yip (叶伟信) has won Most Popular Director, although this year he had to share it with another Hong Kong native, Teddy Chen (陈德森, pinyin: Chén Désēn). Ye was recognised for Ip Man 2, the sequel to the martial arts drama that won him the award the previous year. Chen was the director of the multi-award winning Bodyguards and Assassins, and follow his success at the recent Hong Kong Film Awards.
The main award winners were:
Best Film: The Message (风声)
Best Director: Wang Quan'an (王全安), Apart Together (团圆)
Best Actor: Huang Bo (黄渤), Cow (斗牛)
Best Actress: Tao Hong (陶红), Fragrance of Rice (米香)
Best Newcomer: Jing Boran (井柏然)
Most Popular Actor: Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明)
Most Popular Actress: Vicky Zhao (赵薇)
Most Popular Directors: Wilson Yip (叶伟信), Ip Man 2 (叶问2); Teddy Chen (陈德森), Bodyguards and Assassins (十月围城)
Jury Award: Bodyguards and Assassins (十月围城), Labyrinth (迷城)
Outstanding Contribution Award: The Founding of a Republic (建国大业)
Best Television Movie: No Cicada Summer (无蝉的夏天)
Best Television Actor: Lu Yulai (吕聿来), No Cicada Summer
Best Television Actress: Dong Ling (董玲), The Camel Circle (骆驼圈)
Best Television Director: Jin Ge (金戈), The Camel Circle
Source (in Chinese) here.