A film that examines two generations of Hong Kong social and political activists, No. 1 Chung Ying Street won the Grand Prix at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival (March 9th-18th). The award winners were announced at an award ceremony held on the second-to-last day of the festival.
The activist drama, about the leftist riots in 1967 and social activists in the year 2019, is a personal project for director Derek Chiu, who spent eight years getting the film made due to investors and talents who shied away from the film’s politically sensitive topics. The film’s screening at Osaka was the world premiere.
“This isn’t my first prize, but I think it’s my most important prize because this will enable more people in Hong Kong to see the film,” Chiu said during his acceptance speech.
Chiu told Asia in Cinema that he will begin speaking to potential distributors after taking the film to several film festivals. However, films that tackle similar topics – namely documentaries The Vanished Archives (消失的檔案) and Lost in the Fumes (地厚天高) and Rita Hui’s Pseudo-Secular (風景) – missing from commercial cinemas, No. 1 Chung Ying Street may suffer a similar fate back in its home city.
Chiu won a ¥500,000 (US$ ) cash prize for the win.
The three-member international competition jury, comprised of Vietnam’s Phan Gia Nhat Linh, South Korea’s Kim Jung-eun and Malaysia’s Lim Kah-wai, gave the Most Promising Talent award to Philippines’ Mikhail Red for his new thriller Neomanila. They also added a special Best Actress award to Shuna Iijima for Bad Poetry Tokyo (東京不穏詩).
The Japan Cuts Award, chosen from the Japanese selections in the Indie Forum section, went to KUSHINA, what will you be (クシナ). The Moët Hayami film is about a forest village entirely populated by women and an anthropologist.
The ABC Award, given by Asahi Broadcasting Company, went to Taiwan time-traveling drama Take Me to the Moon. Director Hsieh Chun-yi received ¥1 million (US$ ) for the Japan television broadcast rights of the film.
The Yakushi Award for Best Performer went to Ryza Cenon for Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s Mr. And Mrs. Cruz.
Before the screening of the closing film the next night, the festival announced that Pang Ho-Cheung’s Love Off the Cuff (春嬌救志明) won the festival’s Audience Award.