Shanghai Film Festival Awards: 'Pedicab' Wins Best Film, 'Loving Vincent' Takes Animation Honor

LOVING VINCENT - Still 1 -Annecy Film Festival - H 2017
Courtesy of Annecy Film Festival

The 20th edition of the leading Chinese festival also awarded Iranian drama 'Yellow' the second-place grand jury prize.

The Philippine film Pedicab, directed by Paolo Villaluna, won the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival's Golden Goblet Award for best feature film Sunday.

Palme d'Or-winning Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu presided over the jury that selected the competition winners at the leading Chinese cinema event this year.

"For the humanism and universality of the story, for the simplicity of the style and realization — for the non-conformism with which it represented our desire to believe that there is a sense in this universe, the award for the best film goes to Pedicab, from the Philippines," Mungiu said as he called Villaluna and his team to the stage to accept the prize.

Described as a tragicomic road movie, Pedicab tells a true story of a destitute Filipino family traveling from the impoverished inner city of Manila to an imagined paradise in the countryside. Too poor to pay for transport, they make their way by peddling a rickety pedicab.

The festival's second-place grand jury prize went to Iranian drama Yellow, from Mostafa Taghizadeh. The film's star, Sareh Bayat, was named best actress.

Poland's Maciej Pieprzyca won the best director prize for his gritty police drama I Am a Killer, while Russian biopic Kharms claimed both the best screenplay award — for writer-director Ivan Bolotnikov — and the best cinematography award for its director of photography Sandor Berkesi.

The best actor prize was presented to China's Huang Bo for his turn in Shangjun Cai's thriller The Conformist.

Germany's When Paul Came Over the Sea — Journal of an Encounter, directed by Jakob Preuss, won the festival's best documentary award. The film tells the story of a man from Cameroon making the dangerous and incredibly arduous journey to Western Europe as a migrant. The jury praised the film for "dealing with an important, universal issue that touches all in the world of today."

The biographical animation film Loving Vincent won the festival's best animation prize. A ground-breaking technical work created by a team of 115 painters, the film consists of  65,000 frames, each comprising an actual oil painting on canvas, done in the same style made famous by Vincent Van Gogh. "Animation and fine art painting come together in this loving tribute to the work and life of a master artist," said the Shanghai jury.