UPDATE (March 12, 2017): The festival Audience Award, chosen from all films in the lineup showing for the first time in Japan, went to Kearan Pang’s 29+1, making it the fourth Hong Kong title in the competition to win an award.
Films by young Hong Kong filmmakers took the spotlight at the award ceremony of the 12th Osaka Asian Film Festival (March 3-12), with three out of the five Hong Kong titles in the competition taking home awards.
Derek Tsang’s Soul Mate (七月與安生) won the Asahi Broadcast Corproration’s ABC Award, given to the most entertaining film among the competition and special screening selections. The film will receive one million yen (US$8,700) in exchange for TV broadcasting right on Asahi Television.
Fish Liew from Tracy Choi’s Sisterhood (骨妹) won the Most Promising Talent Award for “her understanding of the challenging role and expressing herself in a most subtile and generous manner.” Liew is also nominated for a Hong Kong Film Award for the film.
Wong Chun’s mental illness drama Mad World (一念無明) won the competition’s Grand Prix. “We award Mad World the Grand Prix for its unflinching and sympathetic view of a neglected reality. It is harsh but tender, tragic but hopeful. This film is an act of love,” says a statement by the jury. Wong wins a cash prize of 500,000 yen for the award.
At the festival’s Hong Kong Night event the night before, programming director Sozo Teruoka acknowledged the high number of Hong Kong titles in the main competition and says that it shows the strength of Hong Kong films this year.
Thailand’s By the Time It Gets Dark (ดาวคะนอง) won a Special Mention from the jury. Shingo Matsumura’s Love & Goodbye & Hawaii (恋とさよならとハワイ) won the Japan Cuts Award, given to the best film in the Indie Forum section. The Philippines’ Iza Calzado won the Yakushi Pearl Award for her performance in Bliss.
The festival closes tonight with the world premiere of Parks (PARKS パークス).