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Masoumi wins best film for second time at SIFF

The 15th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) closed last night with Iranian filmmaker Khosro Masoumi’s Bear taking the top prize, best feature film, in the Golden Goblet Awards.

Canadian filmmaker Micheline Lanctot’s For The Love Of God won the Jury Grand Prix while Chinese filmmaker Gao Qunshu was awarded best director for his thriller Beijing Blues (Detective Hunter Zhang).

Bear, a drama about a man struggling with reality after returning from a traumatising war, is Masoumi’s tenth film and his second to win a Golden Goblet. His seventh film, Tradition Of Lover Killing, won best feature at SIFF’s Golden Goblet Awards in 2004. He’s the only director to win the award twice in the history of SIFF.

The eight awards were evenly distributed among the strong contenders in the Golden Goblet competition. Best actor went to Russian actor Vladas Bagdonas for The Conductor while best actress went to Mexican actress Ursula Pruneda for her portrayal of a devoted mother in The Dream Of Lu. Japanese filmmaker Kenji Uchida took home the best screenplay prize for his dramedy Key Of Life.

Shi Luan won the best cinematography award for Chinese filmmaker Huo Jianqi’s Falling Flowers, a biopic about female author Xiao Hong. Musician Avshalom Caspi was awarded best music for Spanish filmmaker Paula Ortiz’s debut feature Chrysalis

Although without official Golden Goblet recognition, this year’s Golden Goblet jury chairman Jean Jacques Annaud said that the jury had decided to give Chrysalis and Falling Flowers a Special Mention for the impressive stories of each film.

The closing ceremony of the 15th SIFF was attended by guests including actresses Charlotte Rampling and Lisa Lu and Korean director Lee Yong-zoo. Lee’s love story Architecture 101 screened as the closing film of SIFF.

Meanwhile, Mobile SIFF, the sidebar competition section that recognises short films for mobile phones, announced 11 winners. Launched in 2011, the popularity of this category has exceeded expectations, reflecting the rapid development of “micro movies” or short films distributed on new media platforms in China.

A total of 9,926 film clips from more than 100 countries and regions were submitted for assessment and more than 30 qualified for Mobile SIFF competition.

Judged by Taiwanese filmmaker Doze Niu, Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui and mainland Chinese filmmaker Du Jiayi, the Mobile SIFF awards were dominated by Chinese filmmakers including actor Huang Bo (Cow, Crazy Racer).

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