Snow In Midsummer

Source: Venice Film Festival

‘Snow In Midsummer’

Malaysian drama Snow In Midsummer and Danish feature Sons have won the top prizes at the Hong Kong International Film Festival’s (HKIFF) Firebird Awards.

Snow In Midsummer, directed by Chong Keat-aun, won the Firebird Award for best film in the Chinese-language Young Cinema Competition. The film, which premiered in Venice’s Giornate Degli Autori section last September, revisits the tragic race riots that occurred in Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 1969.

Gustav Moller’s Sons won the top Firebird Award in the World category. The Denmark-Sweden co-production, about a prison officer who is faced with a dilemma when a young man she knows is transferred to her facility, premiered in Competition at the Berlinale in February.

The best director prizes were awarded to China’s Liang Ming in the Chinese-language category for Carefree Days and Tunisian-Canadian filmmaker Meryam Joobeur for Who Do I Belong To in the World category.

Carefree Days, about a young woman who takes a road trip with two friends despite battling illness, also saw Lyu Xingchen win best actress in the Chinese-language category, while Jason King won best actor for A Journey In Spring.

A Journey In Spring, directed by Tzu-Hui Peng and Ping-Wen Wang, also picked up the Fipresci Prize.

In the World category, best actor went to Greece’s Vangelis Mourikis for his performance in Yorgos Zois’ Arcadia and best actress went to Germany’s Minna Wundrich for her leading role as a palliative care nurse in Eva Trobisch’s Ivo. The category also saw a special mention go to Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias’ Pepe.

In the Documentary Competition, the jury unanimously presented the Firebird Award to Favoriten by Austrian director Ruth Breckermann, which centres on a Vienna elementary class over the course of three school years.

Also in the documentary category, the jury prize when to Wong Sui-pong’s Obedience, exploring the microcosm of Hong Kong’s Hung Hom area; while a special mention went to Oksana Karpovych’s Intercepted, which contrasts scenes of Ukrainians since the invasion with phone conversations between Russian soldiers and their families.

The 49th HKIFF ran from March 28 to April 8, screening more than 190 films from 62 territories, and closed Sho Miyake’s All The Long Nights.

The festival announced that the 50th edition will take place from April 10-21, 2025.