Antitrust, an alarm-bell ringing picture about monopolies and the abuse of the power of technology, was the big winner at last night's closing ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). The MGM-distributed picture scooped one Jin Jue (Golden Urn) for best film and another, best director, for the UK's Peter Howitt.
It was the first time that MGM had entered a film for competition selection at SIFF and the first time the top honours went to an American-financed picture.
At an elaborate ceremony the jury credited Howitt with "efficient directing and effective use of cinematography and sound." The film was described as: "a powerful story about a challenge to a high tech monopoly."
Other winners on the night included Daniel Auteuil for The Closet (Le Placard) as best actor. Poland's Stanilawa Celinska in Money Isn't Everything and China's Peng Yu in The Full Moon shared the prize, a three legged urn, for best actress. With its light, composition and camerawork, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, won a prize for best technical achievements while Uzbekistani film Bo Ba Bu won best original music for its mixing of central Asian and modern music.
The ceremony, which spared no gimmicks and was complete with waving children, ticker tape, balloon releases and supermodel hostesses, brought to a close the fifth SIFF and the first since the festival became one of the nine given top status by International Producer's Federation , FIAPF.
For all that organisation and artistic direction left room for improvement, the event looks set to keep its position, representing as it does a concentrated dose of the determination and energy present in the still powerful Chinese industry.