Film of poverty al­le­vi­a­tion wins top honor at Huabiao awards event

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE - By XU FAN xu­[email protected]­

Most of the well-known faces in China’s film in­dus­try were at the 17th Huabiao Film Awards in Bei­jing re­cently, rang­ing from di­rec­tors like Chen Kaige, Zhang Yi­mou and Wong Kar-wai to in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized A-lis­ters such as Zhang Ziyi, Li Bing­bing, as well as pop idols like Kris Wu, Lu Han and the band TFBoys.

Nearly 300 stars and film­mak­ers were at the awards cer­e­mony, which was held in the Na­tional Aquat­ics Cen­ter.

Live stream­ing of the gala at­tracted more than 6 mil­lion view­ers on Weibo, China’s equiv­a­lent of Twit­ter, trig­ger­ing nu­mer­ous real-time com­ments. But it was Hold Your Hands — a film set in a re­mote vil­lage in Cen­tral China’s Hu­nan prov­ince — which proved hottest on the chilly win­ter night.

The movie — which bagged awards for best fea­ture, best ac­tress and best scriptwriter — is about the vil­lagers’ ef­forts to al­le­vi­ate poverty.

Miao Yue, the scriptwriter and di­rec­tor, says she is thrilled about the honor and ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the vil­lagers.

She spent sev­eral months in­ter­view­ing them be­fore she was in­spired to pen their story.

The film stars vet­eran ac­tor Wang Xueqi and Chen Jin, who took home the best ac­tress award.

In an ear­lier in­ter­view, Miao had said that she had man­aged to avoid stereo­type de­pic­tions fre­quently seen in such films by mak­ing the char­ac­ters as au­then­tic as pos­si­ble.

“I found a com­mon weak­ness in such films, in which the lead roles are too per­fect and noble in per­son­al­ity to con­vince view­ers.

“In con­trast, you can see that in most Hol­ly­wood block­busters the sto­ries may be fan­tas­tic but the char­ac­ters re­late to the au­di­ence,” says Miao, ex­plain­ing about learnt to tell a bet­ter story.

Giv­ing an ex­am­ple, the di­rec­tor ad­mit­ted that she once failed to hold how she back her tears while watch­ing a scene fea­tur­ing Christo­pher Reeve as Clark Kent, where he breaks up with his girl­friend Lois Lane in the 1978 Hol­ly­wood block­buster Su­per­man.

“To hu­man­ize a char­ac­ter is a must,” she added.

Mean­while, three films — Oper­a­tion Red Sea, Wolf War­rior 2 and Xuan­zang, the bio­graph­i­cal drama about the tit­u­lar Bud­dhist monk in the Tang Dy­nasty (618-907) — won two awards each.

Dante Lam Chiu-yin won best di­rec­tor for the Chi­nese navythemed Oper­a­tion Red Sea; while Wu Jing was best ac­tor for Wolf War­rior 2, the coun­try’s high­est-gross­ing film of all time.

The bi­en­nial awards, in­sti­tuted in 1957, are as pres­ti­gious as the Golden Rooster and Hun­dred Flow­ers when it comes to do­mes­tic films.

How­ever, un­like its two coun­ter­parts, the Huabiao best fea­ture awards are pre­sented to mul­ti­ple films un­der a cat­e­gory called the Out­stand­ing Drama Award.

This year, the awards were given to 10 films, in­clud­ing the four which won more than one prize.

The other six are Oper­a­tion Mekong; The Found­ing of an Army; The War of Loong; The Woman be­hind the Man; Our Time will Come and Big­fish & Be­go­nia, the only an­i­mated film among the win­ners.

Sep­a­rately, Chen Kaige’s epic Leg­end of the De­mon Cat won vet­eran Cao Yu the best cine­matog­ra­phy award.

The best youth film award went to the ro­man­tic com­edy How Long Will I Love U, while the best chil­dren’s film award was bagged by Run­ning Like Wind, based on the true story of a mid­dle-school girls’ foot­ball team in South China’s Hainan prov­ince.

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