Indian filmmaker Karan Gour’s Corrode took home the top honours of best picture at the Asian New Talent Awards during the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) yesterday. 

The awards are one of the festival’s two competitions, recognising first or second-time filmmakers from Asia. Chinese filmmaker Peng Lei’s rock’n’roll story Follow Follow won the best director prize, while Jessey Tsang from Hong Kong took home the special jury prize for Big Blue Lake.

Corrode, about an ordinary housewife’s obsession, won the best picture prize because of its “sharp perspective and refreshing cinematic languages”. Follow Follow, about Beijing’s rock music followers, expressed the “fun and smart side of the new generation of Chinese people”. Big Blue Lake tells about a young woman’s journey to find her peace of mind. 

The winner of best picture and best director prizes are each awarded $23.81m (RMB150,000), while the special jury prize winner was given $23.81m-worth of post-production services.

Meanwhile, SIFF Market wrapped on Wednesday with 807 companies participating; around 50% of the companies are international sales or production companies, according to SIFF organisers. 

Although the Chinese-language film market faces strong pressure from foreign films this year, which had a negative impact on production deals, SIFF organisers reported increasing acquisition interest from online video, IPTV and other new media companies.

SIFF Project closed on the same day with 483 meetings with 712 buyers for the 32 projects. Deng Ke’s entry to the China Film Pitch and Catch (CFPC) competition, The Hero Of My Grandfather, was decreed the Most Creative Project. The film tells the story of three war veterans fighting over the new location for a tombstone when it has to be moved.

The award for Most Promising Project for Investment went to Co-production Film Pitch and Catch (Co-FPC) project The Dragon Angel from director Ning Ying, whose 2002 Railroad Of Hope took first prize at the Cinema du Reel in Paris.

The $11.5m The Dragon Angel, which involves animation and special effects, follows a boy trying to save an ancient courtyard in Beijing. The two winning projects were each awarded with $15,700 (RMB100,000) towards production.

Other winners included Taiwanese filmmaker Lin Shuyu’s Her Second Wedding which won the BesTV award; Li Yang’s To Kill A Demon which picked up the KO award with $31.75m-worth of post-production services provided by China’s KO Media, and Zhang Meng’s Tattoo which received the TSFG award with $23.81m (RMB150,000) worth of post-production services provided by Technicolor.