Golden Screen Awards: China-Kazakhstan's ‘The Composer’ Takes Top Prizes

Jane Seymour Golden Screen Awards - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of the Golden Screen Awards

The 2019 Golden Screen Awards was co-hosted by English actress Jane Seymour. 

Xierzhati Yahefu’s drama, which follows the wartime friendship between famous Chinese and Kazakhstani composers, picked up prizes for best co-production film, best leading actor, best leading actress and best music.

The Composer, a China-Kazakhstan co-production charting the tumultuous life of Chinese composer Xian Xinghai swept the fourth annual Golden Screen Awards, picking up prizes for best co-production film, best leading actor, best leading actress and best music 

Held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles’ Diamond Ballroom on Saturday, this year's Golden Screen Awards were co-hosted by actress Jane Seymour and actor-comedian Kevin Pollak. The event was attended by industry heavyweights from China and elsewhere including Wei (William) Feng, chief representative of the Motion Picture Association in China and MPA Asia; Liu Chun, president of the China Film Co-Production Corporation; Mike Ellis, president of MPA Asia; and Gillian Zhao, executive vp Warner Bros. China.

Green Book scribe Nick Vallelonga, Grammy Award winning recording artist Omar Akram and The Meg producer Belle Avery also attended. 

Director Xierzhati Yahefu's The Composer was the undoubted big winner of the night. The film examines the friendship that was forged between Xian and the Kazakh composer Bakhytzhan Baykadamov during the Second World War. The Chinese composer became stranded in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty after Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 and was taken in by Baykadamov who — legend has it — had never before heard of his new house guest. After settling down in Kazakhstan, Xian produced some of his most famous works, including the symphony Liberation of the Nation and the suite "Red All Over the River."

Chinese actor Hu Jun was rewarded for his lead role in The Composer, as was Kazakhstani model-turned actress Aruzhan Jazilbekova. Lee Dongjun won the award for best music.

“This film and these awards showed how important and how excellent the cooperation between artists from different countries could be," producer Iris Wang told China’s Xinhua news agency after accepting the best co-production film award.  

The film combined crews of more than 20,000 people from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and South Korea and took five years to complete, Wang said.

Other winners of the night included Chen Kaige, Zhang Yibai, Guan Hu, Xue Xiaolu, Xu Zheng, Ning Hao and Wen Muye, collectively named best director for their efforts on the patriotic omnibus My People, My Country. Cat Kwan took the screenplay prize for Line Walker 2 and Abominable was named the best original animated film. 

The Golden Screen Awards have from 2016 been co-hosted by the U.S. China Film & TV Industry Expo (UCFTI), China Film Co-Production Corporation (CFCC), Motion Picture Association (MPA) and The Hollywood Reporter. The awards are designed to celebrate co-productions between China and movie industries around the world, particularly Hollywood.

The full list of winners follows: 

Best Co-Production Film 

The Composer 

Best Original Animated Feature Film


Best Adapted Animated Feature Film

White Snake

Best Screenplay

Cat Kwan for Line Walker 2 

Best Director

Chen Kaige, Zhang Yibai, Guan Hu, Xue Xiaolu, Xu Zheng, Ning Hao, Wen Muye for My People, My Country

Best Cinematography

Yao Hung-I; Dong Jinsong; David Chizallet for Long Day's Journey Into Night

Best Visual Effects

Guoyu Pan for The Captain

Best Music

Lee Dongjun for The Composer

Best Actor in Leading Role

Hu Jun for The Composer

Best Actor in Supporting Role

Francis Ng for Line Walker 2

Best Actress in Leading Role

Aruzhan Jazilbekova for The Composer

Best Actress in Supporting Role

Li Qin for The Captain

Outstanding Contribution & Leadership Award

Mike Ellis 

International Cooperation Spirit Award

Gillian Zhao

Honorary Cooperation Films

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Warner Bros.)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Universal)

Gemini Man (Paramount)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony Pictures)