Breaking news (7:20pm): Upset! Hirohara Satoru’s Good Morning to the World! is winner of the Young Cinema Award. Phan Dang Di’s Don’t Be Afraid Bi! and Xu Ruotao’s Rumination given special mentions.
The winner at this year’s new Asian cinema competition will be announced at 6:30pm PST. We’ll update this page whenever we have a chance.
In the meantime, I wanted to have fun with the prestigious Young Cinema Awards by handicapping the competition. Cannes always inspires the most exciting bookmaking (like at Neil Young’s Film Lounge), and though I’ve never done anything like this before, I thought I’d try to replicate the fun for the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Dragons and Tigers sidebar. I’m basing my predictions on: 1) impressions on likelihood based on my own viewings of the films, 2) film buzz I’ve heard at the festival or read online, and 3) very very presumptuous assumptions based on the style and content of the films by jurors Jia Zhang-ke and Bong Joon-ho (I don’t know much about the work of third juror Denis Cote).
I’ve served on two three-person festival juries in the past so I know how arbitrary this sort of thing can be, and how one or two more vocal personalities can sway a decision. It gets even messier when you account for jet lag, translators, and the difficult task of judging “young cinema.” But arbitrary though it may be, this award has been surprisingly prescient. Among its past recipients include first features by directors now considered among the best in the world: Hirokazu Kore-eda, Lee Chang-dong, Jia Zhang-ke, and Wisit Sasanatieng.
Here are my predictions (updated at 3:15pm following screening of Rumination):
- 3:1 Don’t Be Afraid, Bi! (Phan Dang Di)
- 3:1 Rumination (Xu Ruotao)
- 6:1 Sandcastle (Boo Junfeng)
- 6:1 End of Animal (Jo Sunghee)
- 8:1 Insects in the Backyard (Thanwwarin Sukaphisit)
- 10:1 Icarus Under the Sun (Abe Saori and Takahashi Nazuki)
- 10:1 Good Morning to the World! (Hirohara Satoru)
- 25:1 Kimu; The Strange Dance (Park Donghyun)
[Check out part 2 of our capsule reviews of VIFF films (Hahaha, The Fourth Portrait, I Wish I Knew, Don't be Afraid Bi!, Sandcastle, Single Man, Icarus Under the Sun, Good Morning to the World!) at Asia Pacific Arts.]
[Check out part 1 of our capsule reviews of VIFF films (Winter Vacation, The High Life, Seven Days in Heaven, Cold Fish, Crossing the Mountain, Pinoy Sunday, Red Dragonflies, The Drunkard, R U There?) at Asia Pacific Arts.]