Shanghai Awards $15K Each to Two New Film Projects

The Fifth China Film Pitch and Catch is won by Kit Hui and Qi Rui.

SHANGHAI – Two winners emerged at the China Film Pitch and Catch awards, the new projects incubator at the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival, where each took home a prize of 100,000 yuan ($15,000) sponsored by luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Organizers named A Borrowed Life, from Hong Kong filmmaker Kit Hui (Missing, Fog), the most promising project to invest in, and Cry Me a Pond, from Beijing Film Academy graduate Qi Rui, the most creative project.

Adapted from a true story, Qi’s Cry Me a Pond, tells the story of four 12-year-old girls who commit suicide after receiving love letters from bad boys. The project compares the girls' lives and looks at the different choices they make.

Qi previously went to the Asian Film Academy at the Busan International Film Festival in 2006 and won the AFA-Kodak Prize.

Hui’s project A Borrowed Life, on which she’s working with producer Isabelle Glachant, is about a man who, at age 40, learns he's not Chinese, but a Japanese war orphan adopted by Chinese parents. The film looks at the collateral damage of his discovery, the trauma of war and the question of identity.

Renowned directors Feng Xiaogang, Zhang Yibai, Hugh Hudson, Bille August and John Woo acted as mentors to the filmmakers through the CFPC process, which this year, its fifth, saw 33 projects attract 712 potential investors, organizers said.

The SIFF goes on until Sunday, June 19, when jurors led by Barry Levinson will award eight Golden Goblets to some of the 16 films in the festival’s main competition.