China’s leading film festival crowned Iranian drama Castle Of Dreams with three prizes on Sunday evening.
The Shanghai International Film Festival handed Reza Mirkami’s film the Golden Goblet for best film, best director and a joint best actor award for Hamed Saberi Behdad. The familial drama charts the aftermath of a mother’s death.
The unusual bounty comes at a time when the U.S.’s relationship with Iran and China is on the slide. Iran meanwhile has developed a strong bond with China, which is one of its biggest trading partners. During this week’s festival there was also talk of a China-Iran Co-Production Treaty.
Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan headed this year’s jury, which also gave two prizes to Georgian drama Inhale-Exhale by Dito Tsintsadze. The film scooped the grand jury prize and the best actress award for Salome Demuria.
Chang Feng also shared the best actor prize for Chinese drama The Return while best screenplay went to Aleksander Lungin and Pavel Lungin for Russian title Brotherhood. Best cinematography went to Jack Pollock for Chinese film Spring Tide and the Outstanding artistic achievement prize was awarded to Trees Under the Sun from India. Best animated film was Ride Your Wave from Japan and best documentary was awarded to Bridge Of Time from Latvia.
The atmosphere at this year’s festival was described to us as tense with organizers pulling big-budget Chinese war drama The Eight Hundred from its lineup on the eve of the event, which took place amid growing concerns over Chinese government censorship.
The festival’s accompanying market saw presentations from local power players such as Tencent and the festival welcomed guests including Tom Hiddleston (in town to launch a BAFTA initiative) and director Roland Emmerich, who is seeking Chinese backers for his next big-budget epic Moonfall after already gathering significant local support for upcoming WWII pic Midway.