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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mobile SIFF Award Ceremony. Bye, Shanghai!

UPDATED (20th June, 2011): Added more of my thoughts about the film fest.

With Derrick Lui at the Mobile SIFF Award ceremony


I just got back from the Mobile SIFF awards ceremony, a new section of the Shanghai International Film Fest to replace the previous short film section.

The guy standing next to me in the photo is my friend, Singaporean filmmaker Derrick Lui, whom I last met at Shenzhen's China Mobile Film Fest in Dec 2009. Back then he competed with the short film COLOURS, while I was in competition for KINGYO and LOVE SUICIDES (which picked up a Best Director award then).

It's quite a coincidence that during that festival almost two years ago, I was in the midst of preparing for a short. I returned from Shenzhen and shot the short almost immediately. That short turned out to be EXHALATION, which was nominated for best dramatic short in Shanghai this year. (while Derrick is here with his new documentary short)

The ceremony, like the Asian New Talent award ceremony the night before, (will post about it next time) was held in Jumeirah Himalayas hotel. Very lavish.

Jumeirah Himalayas


The trailers for all competition shorts were played before the ceremony started. Naturally, I snapped photos when they started showing EXHALATION's.

Exhalation trailer playing at Mobile SIFF award ceremony

Exhalation trailer playing at Mobile SIFF award ceremony 2

Exhalation trailer playing at Mobile SIFF award ceremony 3

Signing my name at the Mobile SFF


Anyway, I didn't pick up any award for EXHALATION this time, nonetheless being in this Fest was an invaluable experience.

Tsui Hark was the president of the jury. I met and took a photo with him at Dubai Film Fest 2008. That was amazing, but the idea that a guy whose films I grew up watching had managed to catch one of my short films is quite a different, and astounding, experience.

Tsui Hark


A number of people were there, like Iwai Shunji (photo ruined by the flash photography around us, gah)

Meeting him at Shanghai International Film Festival had been quite a surreal experience. To think that just 13 years ago, I was a 14 year old teenager smitten with LOVE LETTER, and was telling friends and family to about it, was lending out my VCD to these people. To think that just 6 years ago, I was a university student in Perth finally getting a chance to see ALL ABOUT LILY-CHOU CHOU, a film that showcased digital cinematography at its finest, how much had I myself been influence by his works? I cannot even fathom.

Even my short film that was in competition, EXHALATION, made use of visual motifs that I had once seen in his films.

With Shunji Iwai 岩井俊二


And actress Meng Li 孟丽, whom I met last night at the Asian New Talent award ceremony. She was one of the 10 actors to receive an Asian New Talent award.

With the actress Meng Li 孟丽


So this will be my last post about the Shanghai Film Fest before I return tomorrow. (i will post about the amazing Asian New Talent award when i return, or my half day trip at Yuyuan Garden) The past week was fun, meeting so many people, making so many new friends, reconnecting with so many old friends. The common passion we share for film is a constant source of inspiration. I wish I will carry this feeling back home with me and conjure a new film.
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