Shanghai 2012: Iran's 'Bear' Takes Top Prize at Film Festival

Khosro Masumi took home the best feature award for his movie, making him the first filmmaker to win the prize for a second time.

HONG KONG -- Bear, by Iranian director Khosro Masumi, was named the Golden Goblet best feature film at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival, marking it the second time the director took the top prize there.

Masumi’s The Tradition of Lover Killing won the best feature film award in 2004 at the seventh edition of the Shanghai fest. His second win made him the first filmmaker to take the prize for the second time.

The jury commented that Bear took the top prize for being “a well-acted, well-told, honest story that touched our hearts.”

For the Love of God, a Canada drama in French directed by Quebecois actress-director Micheline Lanctôt, was awarded the Jury Grand Prize, selected by a jury headed by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Lover).

The Golden Goblet best director award was given to Chinese director Gao Qunshu for his Detective Hunter Zhang

Portrayal of grief and loss was the theme in the acting categories, with Russian leading man Vladas Bagdonas being named best actor for his portrayal of the title character in Pavel Lungin’s The Conductor, a man dealing with his son’s suicide, while Mexican actress Ursula Pruneda took best actress award for her role in Hari Sama’s The Dream of Lu, a story about a classic guitarist’s struggle to deal with her young son’s death. 

In the rest of the Golden Goblet categories, Japanese writer-director Kenji Uchida was awarded best screenplay for Key of Life, Shi Luan took best cinematography for China’s Falling Flowers, directed by Huo Jianqi, and the award for best music went to Avshalom Caspi for Spain’s Chrysalis, directed by Paula Ortiz.

The festival also announced the winners of the Asian New Talent Awards, selected by a jury led by Iranian writer-director Amir Naderi (Sound Barrier, CUT). The Asian New Talent best director award went to China’s Peng Lei for his third feature Follow Follow. The lead singer and guitarist of Chinese rock band New Pants, Peng was praised by the jury for using music to “give voice to the feelings of his lost generation” and as “one of the important talents and hopes for Chinese cinema today and tomorrow.”

The Asian New Talent best film award was given to Corrode, directed by Karan Gour of India, for “capturing with sharp and fresh cinematic language one complicated and surreal story in the real world,” the jury commented. Hong Kong director Jessey Tsang took home the Jury Prix for Big Blue Lake, her second directorial effort.