The 2019 International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) closed yesterday (December 4) with an awards ceremony that saw Kirill Mikhanovsky’s English/Russian-language comedy Give Me Liberty named best film in the international competition. A jury presided over by Chinese filmmaker Peter Chan Ho-sun awarded its best director prize to Fyzal Boulifa for his debut feature Lynn + Lucy, and the best screenplay prize to Hamish Bennett for Bellbird. The acting awards went to Sarm Heng for Bouyancy and Roxanne Scrimshaw for Lynn + Lucy. Finally, the Macao Audience Choice Award also went to Rodd Rathjen’s Buoyancy. In the New Chinese Cinema competition, which was presided over by Cristian Mungiu, Xiaogang Gu’s Dwelling In The Fuchun Mountains was named best new Chinese-language film of the year. Best director went to Anthony Chen for Wet Season, best screenplay went to Johnny Ma for To Live To Sing, and the acting awards went to Zhou Dong Yu for Chinese box office smash Better Days, and Wu Xiaoliang for Wisdom Tooth. In addition, the Asian blockbuster film of 2018 went to Bong Joon-ho’s major awards contender Parasite, while the ‘Spirit of Cinema’ Achievement Award went to filmmaker Mrs Li Shaohong. The NETPAC Award went to Johnny Ma’s To Live To Sing. Finally, the Cinephilia Critics Award went to Wet Season; while the Cinephilia Critics Award for Best Macau Film went to Year Of Macau. The 4th edition of IFFAM ran December 5-10.
Irish producer Mike Downey has been elected as the new chair of the European Film Academy board. Downy succeeds Agnieszka Holland, who held the role for the past six years. He is joined by two deputies, UK producer Rebecca O’Brien and Romanian producer Ada Solomon. The EFA unites more than 3,700 European producers. At the recent 2019 European Film Awards, Downey said he wants his mandate to be marked by a continuation of the EFA’s “campaigning work in the service of filmmakers at risk; to make all aspects of sustainability not only of EFA itself but also the European film industry a priority; and last but not least to extend the idea of gender balance across the board in every department.”