'Siddarth' Wins Best Picture at Beijing Film Festival

Fortissimo Films

Wong Kar Wai’s "The Grandmaster" took best director, while Zhang Ziyi won the best actress award.

BEIJING – Canadian director Richie Mehta’s Siddarth won the best feature film category in the Tiantan awards at the close of the Beijing International Film Festival, while Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster won in three other categories.

Mehta's India-set drama, about a poor Delhi street merchant who travels across India in search of his missing son, bowed in Venice and had its North American premiere in Toronto.

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The jury that decided the awards was headed by Hong Kong movie legend John Woo and included Spanish producer Andres Vicente Gomez, Chinese directors Ning Hao and Lu Chuan, Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta, French filmmaker Philippe Muyl and Indian director Rajkumar Hirani.

The award for best actor in a leading role went to Guillaume Gouix for Attila Marcel, while Zhang Ziyi took best actress for The Grandmaster.

Alan Rickman was judged best actor in a supporting role for A Promise and best supporting actress went to Re Lee for Hope.

China’s growing importance as a film market lured big names to the Chinese capital for the festival, its fourth edition, including Paramount Pictures COO Frederick HuntsberryGravity director Alfonso Cuaron, Motion Picture Association of America president Christopher Dodd and Frozen producer Peter Del Vecho.

FILM REVIEW: Siddharth

Film director Oliver Stone caused a stir when the Wall Street director called on Chinese filmmakers to deal with thorny historical issues such as the excesses of the Mao Zedong era and the Cultural Revolution he imposed on the country.

The event is still finding its feet, and was in a different venue again this year, and some aspects were well organized, although there were some complaints about the scheduling of screenings.

The screenplay award went to Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji and Lin Aihua for American Dreams in China, while Attila Marcel also took the best music award.

Best cinematography went to Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster and best visual effects went to The Rocket.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan