Every year Chinese Visual Festival assembles a team of top industry experts, academics and filmmakers to select the very best films from the programme. For the 2019 edition of the festival, the Jury includes film producer and Senior Programme Manager at the Singapore International Film Festival Lai Weijie, filmmaker Kit Hung and CVF’s Noemi Lemoine-Blanchard.
This year marks the inaugural awarding of the CVF Golden Dram, our top prize, awarded to the very best film of the festival as selected by the jury. Symbolising a toast or ganbei to the director and team behind the winning film, the Golden Dram represents the everything that the festival stands for in bringing cutting edge Chinese language cinema to the UK, and is an international stamp of recognition and quality, like the fine single malt that it is named after.
This year’s Golden Dram winner is “A Family Tour” the latest work from director Ying Liang, a heart-breaking look at life in exile. The film reveals the unspeakable and unspoken emotional burden on families and individuals in the context of pervasive surveillance in the modern Sinophone world.
Ying Liang was present at CVF to receive his award, and had this to say: “However the storm is strong, freedom still blooms. I am touched that the jury members have given this award to “A Family Tour”. During this time, Chinese Visual Festival has introduced some of my films to the London audience, and created opportunities to discuss cinema, Hong Kong, freedom, hopes and fears, and more. I appreciate your valuable works very much. The Golden Dram Award looks like a very fine drinking glass. Next time, when I visit the festival again, I will bring this “glass” to the bar for drinking with all of you! Thanks again and let’s keep going!”
Jury Member Lai Weijie on “A Family Tour”:
“A lovingly intimate portrait of the filmmaker’s family”
Jury Member Kit Hung on “A Family Tour”:
“The acting is excellent, and characters are so very connected, showing a strong unwillingness to disconnect. The details of the plot and the relationships between the characters are depicted subtly and beautifully”
Meanwhile, the Special Mention winner was “Four Springs“. Director Lu Qingyi’s directorial debut is a beautiful and well-executed documentary, and an emotional journey into the relationship of an old couple across four Spring Festivals. The film is a love letter from a director to his inspiring parents with the skills of an accomplished documentary maker.
Jury Member Noemi Lemoine-Blanchard on “Four Springs”:
“A very moving documentary. Lu Qingyi has great talent for filmmaking and storytelling. He can really capture the beauty of his characters.”