Mexican film wins top prize at Beijing film festival

CRI, April 24, 2015

The 5th Beijing International Film Festival came to an end last night at the scenic Yanqi Lake.

Hong Kong star Jackie Chan (left) and French veteran filmmaker Luc Besson with Bernardo Arellano (center), director of Mexican movie The Beginning of Time, which won the Tiantan Award at the Beijing International Film Festival. [Photo/Xinhua]


International and mainland stars gathered for the closing ceremony, and the presentation of the festival's main competition the 'Tiantan Awards.'

The big winner of the night was Mexican director Bernardo Arellano, taking home the Best Feature Film award, for his movie "Beginning of Time."

One of China's biggest stars Jackie Chan jointly presented Arellano his award with jury president Luc Besson.

"Beginning of Time" is a black comedy about the troubled life of an odd couple and their sons who have been missing for years.

Arellano said it was the characters that really made the film.

"I spent a lot of time doing my cast, I think that was the key because I looked for the human beings; I love to look inside life inside their spirit, inside their soul. I looked at special characters who represent the words I want to express in cinematographic language." The award for Best Director went to Jean-Jacques Annaud for his Sino-French co-production "Wolf Totem."

The movie that took seven years to make in China, also picked up the prize for best visual effects.

Annaud made a touching speech when he accepted his award, presented to him by jury member's Chinese director Peter Chan, and Russian director Fyodor Bondarchuk.

"To succeed you need the talent of your cast, the courage of your producer, and the determination of a great crew. I want to say this movie is entirely made in china, with a wonderful, wonderful crew and cast, so I am extremely touched for all the people who worked so hard on this movie."

Best Actress and Best Actor awards went to Yulia Perisild for her performance in "Battle for Savastopol" from Ukraine, and Artem Tsypin for his portrayal of private detective 'Igor' in "A White, White Night," from Russia.

Slovakian and the Czech Republic film "Children" won three awards for Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, and for Eva Bandor's performance, which earned her the award for Best Supporting Actress.

Hong Kong's Tony Leung won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a ruthless bandit in Tsui Hark's "The Taking of Tiger Mountain."

The Best Music Award went to Austrian film "Gruber Geht."

This year's Beijing International Film Festival has been a huge success, generating over $2 billion in contracts alone.

As well as co-production forums, a Film Market and other events and activities, almost 1000 films from over 30 countries and regions were screened around the city.