17th FIRST · Closing Ceremony
Good to see you again!
After a heavy-duty journey, we once again welcome filmmakers, guests and cinephile from all over the world in Xining, bringing movies to everyone amidst the strong winds and sunshine of the plateau. What rushes here are films from different styles, genres, and methods, as well as the young creators who create them. In the past few years, they have personally faced huge uncertainties, dissected themselves and the world through fighting and stealth, and presented the results on the plateau and beside the snow-capped mountains.
In its 17th year, FIRST still greets the seeds in the soil with warmth, and can still feel great and strong vitality in response. We pay tribute to the films that brought us this moment, and we light up the light of honor.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: PERFECT CITY: THE BRAVEST KID
Award words: The film’s innovative and skillful use of materials brings a thrilling impact. The creator continues to insist on the exploratory nature of animation, using imaginative forms to write about the essential fears that everyone has personally experienced, which are universal and current.
Director Zhou Shengwei, who was unable to arrive at the scene, shared his feelings with images: “I hope to be able to touch the warm, moist, fragile and soft textures in such a world of cracked, hard, cold and dry materials. Also，I hope that I can continue to become more honest and transparent in my creation of this material world.”
BEST SHORT FILM: WALKING WITH HER INTO THE NIGHT
Award words: The light-hearted relationship between the characters, exquisite text writing, and the unique historical background of the film make the short film’s continuous meaning profound. The two individuals roaming in the middle of the night lead to the ultimate romance and leap.
Director Shu Hui and producer Lv hang appeared on stage together. Shu Hui joked that it was because of FIRST that he met producer Lv hang and was able to create this work. “I think FIRST is not only a place to watch movies and exchange movies, but also a place to find partners. I would like to thank the crew and all the staff who use their love to generate electricity.”
SPECIAL MENTION: WHERE DO ANTS SLEEP AT NIGHT
Award words: The rules and regulations are sometimes shaken, because the resistance is flashing, there are still creators who show their creativity with short films, bursting with energy under the rhythm of music and dance, and fresh, pure expression of sound and picture, both poetic and poignant, which is unforgettable for a long time.
Director Dean Wei and screenwriter Zi Wei jointly took the stage to receive the honor. Wei De’an said: “Thank you to FIRST, thank you to the judges for recognizing the film, and thank you to all the main creators. As a dance-themed movie, ‘Ants’ is especially grateful to the dance artists who participated in the choreography. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my parents and my alma mater.”
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM: GO PHOTO SHOOTING
Award words: The low-cost trial reflects the creator’s determination and action. In a simple and even desolate environment, the film stages scenes of ambiguous, mysterious and constantly flowing polygonal relationships, which is fascinating. Between the exchanges of words, the operation of power begins to creak.
Director Nan Xin thanked his wife in his speech, “Without her, I would not be able to realize my dream.” Nan Xin also said that because his previous work was shortlisted for FIRST, he gained confidence in making movies, “To be able to stand here today , I am even more convinced that I can continue to persevere!”
BEST SCREENPLAY: SHAN DANDAN,LI KUO AND GAO QUN, GALAXY WRITER
Award words: What the film writes is the reality that the creator is most familiar with. The story is constructed based on the experience of the details of life. From the successful narrative, the creator’s in-depth understanding of comedy can be detected. There is no need to deliberately create it, just the inability of ordinary people to cope with ordinary life is enough to resonate with people.
Shan Dandan, Li Kuo and Gao Qun jointly took the stage to accept the honor. Li Kuo described the creative process of the work as a “gray line”, “I hope to use this movie to tell all screenwriters who are struggling and doubting themselves that your story is just a ‘gray line’ now, and one day in the future It’s going to be a blast.”
BEST ARTISTIC ORIGINALITY: DU GUANGYU, DAY DREAMING
Award words:With a high degree of technical accomplishment, the film distills and presents a world that is both dreamy and real in familiar scenes in our memories, which is funny and full of imagination. The artwork is particularly outstanding, combining scenes and characters from both the real and fantasy worlds in a well-proportioned and innovative way, highlighting the importance of art in film.
Du Guangyu was unable to arrive due to work matters, and artist Wen Jiaren received the honor on his behalf. He shared his memories of discussing scenes and visual solutions during the film’s location shooting in the form of a message: “Film is both the art of expression and teamwork. A single thread does not make a thread, and a lone tree does not make a forest. Thank you to everyone in the team.”
BEST PERFORMANCE: WU KANGREN, ABANG ADIK
Award words: Faced with unconventional character settings, he used all available physical resources such as expressions, body parts, movements, and eyes to devote himself to the performance, interpreting the emotions and emotions of the movie extremely vividly, and hearing the thunder in the silent place. It shows the actor’s great empathy for the character’s situation.
Actor Wu Kangren, who was unable to arrive due to filming, delivered a video-recorded message, “Getting this recognition is a reminder to me that no matter how long I’ve been filming, I always have to remember to treat my next movie as if it’s my first.”
GRAND JURY PRIZE: GALAXY WRITER
Award words: This is a sincere love letter, written to movies, to filmmakers, and to everyone who is tossed about in the wind and waves of life. Where there is a flash of light, there must be a roaring crowd, that is the voice of dreams.
The main creators of “Galaxy Writer” jointly took the stage to receive the honor. Director Shan Dandan said: “Film is a collective art, and the honor of a film is also a collective honor. The film is not a person’s thing, it is the result of everyone’s joint efforts.” Director Li Kuo said with emotion: “I am very happy to come to FIRST and get recognition. What is even more happy is to meet the best movie fans in the world. Movie fans are the greatest group related to movies.”
BEST DIRECTOR: WANG ZICHUAN, DAY DREAMING
Award words: The spirituality of the characters and the context of the story are intertwined. The children’s perspective is a metaphor for the chaos of the adult world, and while inheriting a certain spiritual tradition, it is full of sincerity and genuine stooping to present the beautiful world that everyone once had.
Director Wang Zichuan sincerely thanked his team in front of the stage and shared his feelings at this moment: “For me, the movie is a transmitter, transmitting ideas through the big screen, but when I heard my name just now, I felt that it is a receiver again, and I felt an unparalleled resonance at this moment. I hope this work will meet with a wider audience.”
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE: FATE OF THE MOONLIGHT
Award words: The length does not dilute the concentration of the narrative. In the interweaving of characters, a typical image of women in an era is meticulously portrayed. The collision between humanity and reality is cruel and ruthless, making the warmth between people even more beautiful. In an epic way, it writes about one hundred years of solitude of ordinary people in Chinese cities.
Director Qin Tian believes that his creative process is like the story in the film: sometimes there will be some gains, and sometimes there will be ups and downs, but the road ahead still needs to be continued. “I will insist on making films about what I must should express. I will continue to see those ordinary people who leave their hometowns and migrated in the huge process of urbanization, encountered and solves new problems, but still insist on living in their own way. Ordinary world, ordinary people who are constantly struggling.”
From the start of the first screening on July 23 to the end of the last screening on July 31, the audience’s choice of honors will be open to vote for their favorite movie. After 9 days of voting, “Day Dreaming” and “Bitter sweet ballad” were selected as Audience award Feature Film and Audience award Documentary respectively.
AUDIENCE AWARD: FEATURE FILM
Award words:Infusing sincerity and enthusiasm into scarce themes, “Day Dreaming” brings back those whimsical ideas that people have gradually forgotten, sincerely enters the perspective of children, and reproduces a world that has been blessed by imagination but is still imperfect. The world, between fantasy and reality, brings healing and solace.
Director Wang Zichuan thanked all the audiences who loved “Day Dreaming” on the stage: “For a film, the audience’s love is the greatest encouragement, and the audiences’ choice is also the greatest honor. I hope Day Dreaming will be released as soon as possible and be seen by more people. , and also liked by more people.”
AUDIENCE AWARD: DOCUMENTARY
BITTER SWEET BALLAD
Award words:”Bitter Sweet Ballad” focuses on groups located at the center of the city as well as the edge of the social structure and the inevitable fate they will face as they grow up. It wraps up the bitterness of reality with warmth and goodwill, and provides the audience with care of life.
While receiving the honor, co-director Tang Tao thanked FIRST and Rémy Martin for setting up the Audience Award, and thanked the audience for choosing Bitter Sweet Ballad. It is very precious for documentaries to be publicly viewed. This award also belongs to all the other four shortlisted documentaries: “In addition, I also need to thank several special audiences, that is the teachers and students of Dandelion Middle School. I am very happy to win their love. I hope Bitter Sweet Ballad which bloomed for the first time in Xining can fly further, into the hearts of more people.”
Film is a magical force, gathering people from all directions to the same bright light. The films of young filmmakers have added to this gathering a desire to explore and an expectation for growing power. The 17th FIRST International Film Festival closed today. Yet, the past 10 days has proved that the vitality of film is unstoppable, like a desert cat running on the plateau, wild and boundless.