Sheng Zhimin's Bliss won best film at the Shanghai International Film Festival's Asian New Talent Awards on Saturday night (June 23).

The family drama, set on the banks of the Yangtze in Chongqing, premiered at the Locarno film festival last year, where it picked up a NETPAC award.

Meanwhile, best director went to On The Wings Of Dreams from Bangladeshi director Golam Rabbaby Biplob. The film tells the story of a man and his wife in a small village whose lives are transformed when they stumble across some foreign currency.

Wang Fen's The Case, one of the films in the Yunnan New Film Project, bagged the University Students' award.

One of the more interesting programmes in the SIFF line-up, the Asian New Talent Awards boasted a prestigious jury headed by Chinese director He Ping and also including French critic Jean Michel Frodon and filmmakers Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Mabel Cheung (Hong Kong) and Isao Yukisada (Japan).

Each of the prize winners received $20,000 (RMB150,000) and a further $40,000 (RMB300,000) worth of studio use from the Zhoushan government.

The previous night (June 22), the festival also gave out awards at the closing ceremony of its inaugural 'China Film Pitch & Catch' projects market.

Goth's Breath from Xiao Jiang (Electric Shadows) won the prize for the most creative project. Yang Shupeng's The Robbers was deemed the project with the most potential to get fully financed.

Both prizes came with $4,000 (RMB30,000) of in-kind services from Cinelabs Beijing.

The two-day Pitch & Catch, which featured seven 'recommended' Chinese projects and 32 other projects from Asia and Europe, drew a mixed response from participants.

The seven recommended filmmakers pitched their projects to a group of potential investors after receiving one-on-one advice from American Film Institute consultant James Hindman and the dean of USC School of Cinematic Arts, Elizabeth Daley.

However, some felt the public pitching sessions, in front of hundreds of Chinese and overseas investors, festival delegates and press, may not have been the best approach to sell what were essentially small, arthouse projects.