Wolf Totem among nominees for top awards

Updated: 2015-04-21 10:35

By Xu Fan(China Daily)

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<EM>Wolf Totem</EM> among nominees for top awards

Wolf Totem is a nominee at the Tiantan Awards.

All eyes are now set on the winner's list for the 5th Beijing International Film Festival that opened to a grand start last week.

Tiantan, or Temple of Heaven Awards as the top honors are called, will be presented on Thursday to 15 winners chosen from hundreds of movies produced in 103 countries.

Wolf Totem, a Sino-French production that's directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, and Hong Kong filmmaker Hark Tsui's revolutionary epic The Taking of Tiger Mountain are two movies that are likely to emerge as favorites for the awards, according to several Chinese moviegoers at the festival.

The other nominees include the Russian crime thriller A White, White Night, Italian drama The Choice, South Korean entry The Whistleblower and Japanese fantasy Love & Peace.

Veteran moviemaker Luc Besson, who directed The Fifth Element starring Bruce Willis in 1997, said he loves movies that can be remembered even after much time has passed.

Recalling his childhood in a remote French village that was far away from the nearest cinema, the president of the Tiantan jury said movies were the "first window" to his understanding of the world.

"The best movies, touching you deep in the heart, are those that can be remembered and understood in five, 10 or 20 years, regardless of border and language," Besson told reporters at the festival's inaugural ceremony.

His interest in Chinese movies, he added, developed after watching Bruce Lee's martial arts productions as a teenager.

"The selection of films looks very exceptional this year. I'm grateful to share this mission with such an honorable and amazing jury. We come from different countries and have different sensitivities. And that's the best way to judge a movie, because we're perfect examples of diversity and sensitivity," Besson said of this year's Beijing International Film Festival.

South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, who is famous for his romantic movies 3-Iron and Pieta, said that selecting the winners from all the "great works" will be tough.

"Most of my movies have limited dialogue, so I hope to judge a movie by the scenes. My criterion is I can understand a film even without lines," said Kim, who is another jury member.

The director also said that he would like his own movies to be officially released in China. "For me, a movie is a process to discover the answers to life's puzzles."

A third jury member, Hong Kong director Peter Chan, said that apart from making viewers think about a particular subject, a good movie should be "emotional and touching".

"As there are only two Chinese in the seven-member (judging) panel, the two votes from Zhou Xun and me are not enough to make homegrown movies win awards," Chan told China Daily about what he considered a disproportionate representation of Chinese on the jury, dominated by foreign moviemakers.

Zhou, a famous Chinese actress, is the only female jury member this year.

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