Pema Tsedan’s Balloon was named best picture while Wang Lina’s A First Farewell took awards for best director and best actress (Sonam Wangmo) at the first Golden Coconut Awards at China’s Hainan Island International Film Festival (HIIFF) on Sunday night (December 8).
Both films, in the Tibetan language and Uighur language respectively, coincidentally touch on ethnic minority issues in China.
The Golden Coconut Awards are a new addition this year, handing out cash prizes in 10 categories among films selected for the festival’s international competition for feature, documentary and short films. Winners also include Tunisian filmmaker Mehdi M Barsaoui’s A Son, which walked away with best screenplay and shared the best actor prize for Sami Bouajila’s performance.
The best actor award was shared with Japan’s Ryuhei Matsuda for his role in Keishi Ohtomo’s Beneath The Shadow, which received its world premiere at HIIFF. Spanish filmmaker Oliver Laxe’s Fire Will Come received a special jury prize.
French actress Isabelle Huppert served as jury president and also attended the closing ceremony, a red- carpet event held at Sanya Phoenix Island resort, which featured drone-formation flying to create images in the sky. International guests Asghar Farhadi, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Brenda Fraser also attended the closing, along with Chinese directors Feng Xiaogang and Guo Fan and Chinese actors Wu Jing, Shen Teng, Deng Chao and Xu Zheng.
The eight-day HIIFF took place at the Mangrove Tree Resort World Sanya Bay. In addition to screenings, events at the festival included contents and IP market H!Market, the H!Action projects market, masterclasses and forums. Sanya is a coastal city in China’s southernmost province of Hainan.
2nd HIIFF WINNERS LIST:
Best picture: Balloon, dir Pema Tsedan
Best director: Wang Lina, A First Farewell
Special jury prize: Fire Will Come, dir Oliver Laxe
Best actor: Ryuhei Matsuda, Beneath The Shadow, and Sami Bouajila, A Son
Best actress: Sonam Wangmo, Balloon
Best screenplay: Mehdi M Barsaoui, A Son
Best artistic contribution: White Snake, dir Zhang Xianfeng
Best children’s picture: 1982, dir Oualid Mouaness
Best documentary: About Love, dir Archana Phadke
Best short film: The Size Of Things, dir Carlos Felipe Montoya
NETPAC award: Verdict, dir Raymund Ribay Gutierrez