The Knot, a movie about love separated by the Taiwan Straits, won Best Feature Film at the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival on Saturday evening.
The widely anticipated Tuya's Marriage, the Best Film Golden Bear Award winner at the 57th Berlin Film Festival and nominee for best feature film, director, and actress at the student film festival, received no awards.
The Knot was directed by Yin Li, and featured popular Chinese mainland actor Chen Kun and Taiwanese actress Vivian Hsu.
Tony Leung Ka Fai, who played a countryside teacher in Zheng Kehong's My Career as a Teacher, beat Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chow Yun-Fat, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshivo, and Daniel Wu to win as most popular Hong Kong actor, selected by the college students who participated in the festival.
Holding the "Flying Tiger" cup in hand at the ceremony late Saturday evening, Leung Ka Fai said he intended to retire, but changed his mind because of the encouragement, support, and recognition given by the students on his first arrival at the film festival.
"I promise you that I'll be back next year, and the year after next!" said Leung, who has won the Best Actor for Hong Kong Film Award three times and Best Supporting Actor one time. His films Reign Behind the Curtain and Burning of the Imperial Palace, both shot in 1983, are the best known by the mainland's audience.
Hong Kong veteran director Jacob Cheung's A Battle of Wits, based on a Japanese cartoon featuring an ancient Chinese anti-war saint, and mainland director Zhang Yibai's The Longest Night in Shanghai, about a Chinese woman taxi driver and a famed Japanese dresser who fall in love with each other after a night together alone despite the obstacle of language, picked up the Jury Award.
Li Yixiang, who is not so familiar to Chinese audiences, won Best Actor for his performance in Chen Daming's One Foot off the Ground, a black-humor movie about three opera troupe members who are forced to change their profession when their funds dry up. He also starred in Li Yang's Blind Shaft, which won the Silver Bear award at 2003 Berlin Film Festival.
Siqin Gaowa, a veteran Inner Mongolian actress who has been absent from the silver screen in recent years, won the Best Actress award for her role in Ann Hui's The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt, which also starred Chow Yun-Fat.
Call for Love, a love comedy assembling a batch of mainland stars, pulled off the Best Visual Effect award, while Wang Fen's The Case, a thriller telling of a man's sexual desire from a woman director's angle, and Zhuang Xinyu's Teeth of Love, a movie about the relationship between a woman's memory and love, took home the Best First Feature, a similar award to the director award for a maiden film.
Altogether 35 Chinese-made films entered the festival this year, vying for a total of 16 awards, 14 of which were selected by a jury consisting of 30 students from 29 universities across China and 11 experts.
Feng Gong, known as one of the best Chinese comedians, and Xu Jinglei, an actress and director, were selected as the most popular directors for Bie Na Ziji Bu Dang Ganbu (Don't Take Yourself as a Cadre) and Dreams May Come.
Mainland rising star Chen Kun was selected as the most popular actor for his roles in two entries at the film festival, The Knot and thriller The Door, with controversial Zhao Wei, who also starred in two entries, The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt and The Longest Night in Shanghai, won as the most popular actress.
Zhou Bo won the Best Freshman for Su Lei's Wang Shan, about a struggle between a poor peasant and the local officials, with Pu Jian's The Exam winning the Special Award for Education-theme Film, Lan Bing and Ye Jing's A Great Master Recaptured, about Peking Opera master Mei Lanfeng, winning the Special Award for Documentary Film, and Zhai Junjie's My Long March winning the Special Award for Martial Film.
Launched in 1993, The Beijing Student Film Festival is sponsored by Beijing Normal University and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio and Television.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2007)