16th FIRST ·Closing Ceremony

We are as promised.

Today, keeping promises requires more commitment and even dedication than ever before. People have lamented uncertainty countless times, but are still caught off guard when it comes right down to it, with missed appointments and missed deadlines becoming the norm.

Luckily, we still have movies. Whether it’s the fresh works shortlisted in the main unit, the growing ecology presented by the movie market, or the vigorous and fearless creative forces exploding in the training camp, all of them are doing their best in their own way to let the audience and the industry perceive a predictable future.

On the sidelines of a public event, a young creator walked up to Zhang Ziyi, the chairperson of the Jury, and handed over his script for her perusal. “At that moment I felt a kind of happiness. He just stood there and told me directly what he thought, and I think that’s what FIRST is all about.”

Equally fortunate, in the cracks of these nine days, we were still able to see something take shape in the midst of the crowds. A movie with a lingering aftertaste, an enjoyable after-screening, a filmmaker with a great personality, an unforgettable exchange with a passerby at an open-air screening …… Whenever we talk about it, the barriers are broken down with a smile and a sense of communication that belongs to the audience and is linked to the movie is quietly formed.

“Once the golden wind and jade dew meet, it is better than countless things on earth.” As the closing of the festival coincides with the Tanabata Festival, we also celebrate the encounters brought about by the movie: authors, audience members, guests, citizens, and volunteers. …… When countless encounters take place, individuals are connected into communities, and the courage of the lone person is gathered into the power of the multitude.

We pay tribute to the films that brought us to this moment, and we light up the light of honor.


Award words: The film’s control of the plot’s rhythm is relaxed, reflecting a rare precise control of performance in a short film. The multiple reversals within a short period of time make the story interesting, and the emotional relationship between the characters is ultimately released after several interactions, allowing the work to present a consistent and exquisite nature from form to content.

At the center of the stage, Southern afternoon sincerely thanked all those who have supported him, “We all know it’s a cold and long winter for our world right now. But at FIRST, we feel warm and hope that the sun will rise as usual in all places where there are movies.”


Award words: The film’s clear and precise intention, combined with a lively and entertaining form of expression, gives the work a simple and understandable but endless moral, from self-help to mutual victimization, behind the imaginative setting, revealing some of the nature of human sexual desires.

Xie Chenglin was not able to arrive because he was overseas, but he still conveyed his love for his creation and his gratitude to his parents, friends, family, producers, and the entire cast and crew.


Award words: The movie boldly breaks the logic of time and space, and builds a space where reality and fantasy, remembrance and attachment, the living and the dead co-exist and sing and dance together. Behind the attempt of interweaving real and fantastical expressions, it is the most genuine expression of affection.

Virgin Blue was incubated in the FIRST Lab, director Niu Xiaoyu shared, “For me, film is an event to get together, and I make films because I want to be with all the people who love me and whom I love forever, so I hope to bring this film to every audience. Don’t say goodbye, let’s be together forever.”


Award words: Between the intertwining of destinies, we can contemplate the individual and society; under the myth of wealth, we can touch the fantasy and reality. The work strips away the glamorous appearances and stereotyped prejudices, and goes straight to the vivid ecology of the commodity paradise, focusing on the ordinary people in the wave of life, outlining and recording their fluctuating destinies, and embracing and caring for their spirit of life.

Yang Hao confessed on stage, “I’m very happy to be able to present this work, and I’m very grateful to FIRST for giving me this opportunity and for their constant support.”


Award words: After one reversal, the story wraps up with an extremely powerful ending, and the neat plot structure is filled with a loose and natural feeling of expression. The author’s unhurried and unhurried narrative pace tells a realistic story with both realistic cruelty and humorous banter.

Director Wang Heze and producer Yang Yang went on stage to receive the award. Wang Heze shared, “This script has been in the works since 15 years, and after six years, I’m especially grateful for the encouragement that FIRST has given me, like a beam of light illuminating me.”


Award words: With precise light, color and composition, it expresses the inner world of the characters, presenting the overall depression and local prosperity of a contemporary town. The image serves the narrative efficiently and provides a wonderful stage for the characters’ struggles and entanglements.

Li Jianeng said, “This is an honor for the team, not only the photography, but also the editing director, the sound director, and a lot of behind-the-scenes creative departments. I also thank Guan Hu and Liang Jing for their trust in the team. It is never easy to make a debut movie, but because director Na Jia Zuo injected confidence and passion into all departments during the shoot, it gave everyone the confidence to stick together and keep shooting.”


Award words: First, it undertakes the interpretation of the plot in an almost monodramatic way, and then maintains tension and determination between the extremely taut character interactions. In two very different environments, the continuity of characterization is maintained. Behind the merit is long-lasting cultivation and accumulation.

While receiving the award, Jin Pa said he was nervous and thanked the cameramen, producers, and all the staff who helped. “I’m an actor that not many people know, and most of the time I’m herding, except for the occasional scene, but I’ll act as seriously as I’m herding.”


Award words: In the limited acting time, the actors’ interpretation of the bias, persistence, loneliness and strangeness of the characters, which were carved by both the times and themselves, is highly contagious, convincing and sympathetic. The subtle and realistic interpretation of the characters is an important part of the texture of the story and the audience’s viewing experience.

This is Ai Li Ya’s fourth visit to FIRST, and she laughingly called FIRST a “blessed place”, “Thank you to the jury and all the staff of Where to Grow, I love Xining, and I’m especially lucky to be able to work with young filmmakers.”


Award words: youth, confusion, violence, debt, inseparable father, untouchable love …… The author’s mature creation and production path outlines the rivers and lakes of the streets of a contemporary small town and the lives and destinies of the many people in them.

Na Jia Zuo shared on stage, “This is my first time to come to FIRST, and this movie is my debut. 29 years old, I finished it, and this year I’m 33 years old. Thanks to my producers, director Guan Hu and Liang Jing. I think the honor of this film belongs to more than just us, it belongs to each and every one of the crew, the lights, the wild dogs, the bugs, the trees, those living in the third or fourth line cities, each and every small but important life.”


Award words: Unwilling to be categorized into a certain creative vein, the director incorporates a large number of local and universal elements into the story and organizes them into a complete and mature narrative, forming a rebellious and exploratory gesture on a solid foundation, embodying the possibilities of breaking through the intrinsic boundaries of geography, ethnicity, and so on.

Jigme Trinley shared, “It’s always a surprise to see something at FIRST, to bring something very fulfilling, to see a more unique expression, and I hope that we can go down a more and more interesting path to cinema. Thank you FIRST and to my mother and father, because they know how hard it is to be a filmmaker and they know how much I want to be a filmmaker, thank you.”


Award words: Powerful impact hidden in a calm scene, harsh but not lacking in subtle rhythmic arrangement, and sound design that is beyond expectation and reasonable. The work places the expanding human nature in both the extremely cramped man-made space and the vast natural space, exploring the boundaries of human nature.

Jigme Trinley introduced the creators of One and Four to the audience, and expressed his gratitude to those around his: “I am grateful to my mother, director of photography Mr. Lv Songnuo, the members of the team, the Department of Directing at the Beijing Film Academy, and my Tibetan friends around me, who have made it possible for me to feel close to my family even after many years of wandering around the world.”

From the first screening on July 27th to the last screening on August 3rd, the Audience Award were open for voting, with the audience voting for their favorite film every day. After weighting the audience’s choice ratings, the number of screenings, the number of people attending the screenings, and the composition of the audience, Growing Apart and Trashy Boy were awarded the FIRST x Rémy Martin Audience Award in the Feature Film category and the Audience Award in the Documentary category.


Award words: In the face of creativity, those attempts to refine and explore in uncharted waters are always worthy of protection and respect; but those works that aim to reach a wider audience should also be given back in the context of a film festival. The characters have different destinies, but they are also connected to each other in a fatalistic way, hurting others while being victims themselves. In a suspenseful way, the movie uncovers the truth of the characters’ lives and touches upon a not-so-distant but blurred era.


Award words: Documentary film is the beginning of moving image. When people’s familiar daily life appears on the screen, it also establishes the unique charm of film as a popular art. Nowadays, the mission of documentary creation is to raise questions, care for individuals, and call for change, and it is especially necessary to gather the power from watching. A close perspective filled with care presents a delicate and clear texture of content, and is enough to connect with the viewer’s life experience. In the age of involution, the actions and inactions of the characters are highly relevant and inspiring.

Whether it’s a movie or a movie creation, perhaps the so-called “sanctuary” or “refuge” doesn’t exist in the first place. However, when individuals who are unique and fearless enough come together and express themselves loudly against the wind, there are mountains and forests.

August 4, 2022, Xining, Qinghai, the 16th FIRST Youth Film Festival closes today.

However, the screen of the film will always be lit up, illuminating the colorfulness of everything, defending the multidimensionality of life, as well as defending life itself.

Share Airtcle