Shanghai Festival: 'The Major' and 'Reliance' Win at Golden Goblet Awards

9:15 AM PST 06/23/2013 by Clarence Tsui
Swedish director William Olsson (second from right) and his cinematographer Vachan Sharma (center) celebrate with their team after their film, "Reliance," won three prizes at the Shanghai International Film Festival's Golden Goblet awards.

Russian policier and Swedish drama take three prizes apiece, while Hong Kong’s "Unbeatable" takes Best Actor and Actress gongs.

HONG KONG – Yuri Bykov’s The Major and William Olsson’s Reliance have emerged as the top-ranked entries at the Shanghai International Film Festival’s Golden Goblets awards, each taking home three titles.

A dark tale about a Russian detective spiraling into moral oblivion as he attempts to conceal a hit-and-run that led to the death of a passer-by, The Major – which premiered at the Critics’ Week at Cannes last month – was named Best Film, while Bykov secured the Best Director prize as well as an Artistic Achievement Award for his score for the film.

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Meanwhile, Reliance won a Jury Prize, with screenwriter Angus MacLachlan and cinematographer Vachan Sharma also netting prizes in their respective categories. Released a week before its international premiere in Shanghai, Olsson’s film revolves around the breakdown of a family after one of its members was subjected to a sexual assault at home.

Financed by mainland Chinese studio Bona Film Group, Dante Lam’s Unbeatable brought some cheers to the local crowd with its stars Nick Cheung and Crystal Lee winning the Best Actor and Actress titles. Cheung plays an ex-convict forced to make a living in illicit boxing matches, with Lee delivering a critically acclaimed turn as the 10-year-old girl he’s trying to take care of.

The competition jury was chaired by Tom Hooper, who was joined in Shanghai by fellow directors Chris Kraus (Germany), Khosro Masoumi (Iran), Jiri Menzel (Czech Republic) and Ning Hao (mainland China), as well as Chinese actress Yu Nan and French critic Michel Ciment.

The festival’s Asian New Talent Awards were unveiled Friday, with South Korean director Roh Doek’s Very Ordinary Couple winning the Best Feature prize. Singapore’s Wong Chen Hsi was named Best Director for his work Innocents, while mainland Chinese filmmaker Liu Juan took the Jury Prize for Singing When We Are Young.

The jury for this young director showcase was led by mainland Chinese director Lu Chuan, and also comprised Indian festival programmer Aruna Vasudev, Korean director Choi Dong-hoon, U.S. producer Gary Kurtz and French actress Laura Weissbecker.

The festival, which began June 15 by bestowing Oliver Stone and Tsui Hark with honorary awards before screening Monsters University, concluded its nine-day run Sunday with a screening of the U.S. heist caper Now You See Me.

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