'The Battle at Lake Changjin' wins best film award in Changchun

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 28, 2021
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The war epic "The Battle at Lake Changjin" took home the best film award at the Golden Deer Awards on Saturday night at the 16th Changchun Film Festival (CCFF) in Changchun, the capital of northeastern China's Jilin province. 

Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group, and veteran director-producer Huang Jianxin receive the best film award for "The Battle at Lake Changjin" at the 16th Changchun Film Festival (CCFF), Dec. 25, 2021. [Photo by Hu Jun/China.org.cn]

Co-directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark, and Dante Lam, the film also won the best editing award. By Saturday, it had grossed 5.77 billion yuan ($906 million) and is the biggest film of all time in China.

There were 133 submissions for Golden Deer Awards this year, and 16 were eventually shortlisted. Chinese director Yin Li, who chairs the seven-member jury, said the festival has always been committed to selecting and commending film works and filmmakers with higher industry standards. They awarded "The Battle at Lake Changjin" by considering its current, social, and artistic value.

Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group and producer of the film, received the award on stage along with executive producer Huang Jianxin. He said the city of Changchun and the studio, the first film studio of the People's Republic of China called "the cradle of modern China's film industry," remind him of many influential films that gave him strength in the past, such as early war epics "Shang Gan Ling" and "Heroic Sons and Daughters."

"After more than 50 years, Bona Film Group had this chance to do 'The Battle at Lake Changjin,' which is the responsibility and mission of the filmmakers of our generation," he said, praising all cast members who have done their best for the film, and thanking the audience who made 120 million admissions to the film and helped create the box office records.

Many other movies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) also won awards. For example, the Golden Deer Jury Grand Prize was given to two films, "Chinese Doctors" and "Island Keeper," while the film reenacting the founding of the CPC, "1921," won the best screenplay. 

Huang Jianxin, 67, director and screenplay writer of "1921" and producer for many blockbusters, said he was happy that he was still making movies at retirement age. "Movies have become part of my life and I will keep trying."

Performers sing and dance at the 16th Changchun Film Festival (CCFF), Dec. 25, 2021. [Photo by Hu Jun/China.org.cn]

Director Yin Ruoxin won the best director for "Sister," a heartbreaking family drama of a young girl who has to choose between pursuing her dream and taking care of her little brother after their parents died in a car crash. Its leading actress Zhang Zifeng won the best actress award. 

Meanwhile, Liu Ye won best actor for his powerful performance in "Island Keeper" to reenact the true story of a man who guarded a Chinese border island for 32 years from 1986 to 2018. Renowned cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding won the best cinematography award for the spy thriller "Cliff Walker," directed by Zhang Yimou. The best music score went to composer Zou Ye for his work in the war epic "Crossing the Yalu River."

Actress-director Jia Ling won the best directorial debut award for "Hi, Mom," a time-travel comedy about a young lady and her mother. This film resonated with the audience during this year's Spring Festival and grossed 5.41 billion yuan at the box office, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time in China.

The 16th Changchun Film Festival, sponsored by China Media Group and the Jilin provincial government and organized by the Changchun municipal government, was held from Dec. 21-25. A total of 43 films were exhibited in sections with themes such as Chinese comedies, revolutionary film classics, women's films, domestic sci-fi films, and films with ice and snow elements designed to celebrate the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. In addition, over 200 cultural events, including forums, film-themed concerts, exhibitions, and other screenings and performance activities, were also held during the event.

A photo shows a landmark statue placed at the museum built based on the old site of the Changchun Film Studio. [Photo/VCG]

The CCFF Organizing Committee and China Movie Channel also announced at the closing ceremony that they had launched the Golden Deer Program to support excellent film talent through collaboration with China's higher education institutions. 

Changchun strives to build the Changchun International Movie Metropolis, a complex of about 1,051 square kilometers featuring state-of-the-art production facilities. A total of 107 projects were already signed with nearly 150-billion-yuan investment last year. The city and its film productions and culture will serve as an international chain base to boost northeastern China's economy and cultural development. 

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