Friday, April 29, 2011

Beijing Students' Honour Aftershock

The 18th Annual Beijing Student Film Festival Awards were held on the 28th of April, with Feng Xiaogang's Aftershock (唐山大地震) taking home the main prize of Best Film. The epic drama that starts with the destructive Tangshan earthquake of 1976 and concludes with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake is the second highest grossing mainland Chinese film of all time. However, apart from the top prize at the Australian-held Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, this is its first Best Film award at a major awards ceremony.

The Best Actor trophy was awarded to local star Ge You ((葛优)) for his performance as a conscientious doctor in Chen Kaige's Sacrifice. The veteran actor, who recently turned 54, had a stand-out year in 2010, also appearing in the box office hits, Let the Bullets Fly and If You Are the One 2.

Best Actress was won by emerging superstar Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) for Buddha Mountain. Her performance as a teenager who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a retired Peking Opera singer had earlier this year won her Best Actress at the Tokyo Film Festival. Buddha Mountain was produced by Fan's own production company, Fan Bingbing Workshop, which she established in 2007.

Best Director award went to arthouse favourite Huo Jianqi (霍建起) for White Flower in Autumn, a biopic of one of the earliest leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, Qu Qiubai. A Jury Prize went to the film Biluo Snow (碧罗雪山). Directed by Liu Jie (best known as the cinematographer of Beijing Bicycle), the film also won the Jury Prize at the Shanghai International Film Festival last year. I know little about the film except that it employs a cast of non-professional actors.

The Festival also gave awards in the Most Popular categories. Wen Zhang (文章) won Most Popular Actor for his performance as the autistic son in the moving drama Ocean Heaven. Yao Chen (姚晨), China's most followed micro-blogger, was named Most Popular Actress, on the back of her performance in the television martial arts sitcom, My Own Swordsman. Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚), director of Aftershock, won Most Popular Director.

Television awards were also presented at the ceremony. Best TV Film Award went to the controversial Vegetate (我是植物人), an expose of shady practices in the pharmaceutical industry. Li Naiwen (李乃文), who played a paparazzo turned investigative journalist in the same show, was named Best TV Actor. Best TV Actress was awarded to Wang Liwen (王黎雯) for Moving Hearts.

The full list of winners can be found here - sorry, Chinese only.

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