Chinese film wins Best Picture at Berlin film festival


The 64th Berlin International Film Festival has closed. This year, Asian films were big winners, led by a gritty Chinese thriller. The Chinese film Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) has won the Golden Bear for best picture at the festival, BBC informs. Liao Fan won the prize for best actor in the same film, while Haru Kuroki won best actress for her role in the Japanese movie Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House). American Richard Linklater was named best director for his film Boyhood. An eight-person jury decides the awards. This year it was headed by American director and producer James Schamus, probably most well-known for producing Brokeback Mountain.
Bai Ri Yan Huo features an overweight detective, played by Liao Fan, on the trail of a serial killer.“This is quite a surprise for me. It’s like a dream that I should never wake up from. Look at my team. They are amazing. I want to thank them, everyone.” Diao Yinan, Chinese director told the festival audience. Diao’s third feature film, stars Liao as a former policeman turned detective who investigates a mysterious series of killings in a gritty industrial region. During his investigation he is drawn to a mysterious woman who appears to be connected to the victims.
Just a day before the award was bestowed on him, Liao Fan turned 40. And the prize has been a wonderful birthday present.
“I saw the film as a gift to me back when we were shooting it. And now that it has won so many prizes at this particular time, it’s been a very special surprise.” Liao Fan, Chinese actor, Golden Bear Winner said.
Diao’s winning entry was one of three Chinese films in the 20-movie competition this year.
Another Chinese entry, director Lou Ye’s “Blind Massage” – is an adaptation of a popular novel that’s set largely in a massage center run by the blind. Lou’s film won the festival’s outstanding artistic contribution prize for its cinematography. Japan’s Haru Kuroki was named best actress for her part in “The Little House,” from veteran director Yoji Yamada. This film is about a covert love affair in Japan set against the backdrop of World War II.
Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, the festival opener, took the Silver Bear grand jury prize, while the Ethiopian film Difret, based on a real case of bride abduction in Ethiopia, took the audience award.
The festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film showcases in the world, but this year some critics complained of a dearth of strong entries, and a lack of films with strong political or social agendas. Some 400 films have been screened during the 11-day festival, 23 of them in the competition category.
Last year, the main prize was awarded to the Romanian film Child’s Pose. On Friday, British director Ken Loach won an Honorary Golden Bear at what is formally known as the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival. He was celebrated with a gala screening of his 1993 film Raining Stones, about a poverty-stricken suburban family.

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