Taiwanese film wins Toronto film festival jury prize

2018/09/17 14:38:58 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Photo courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Toronto, Sept. 16 (CNA) A Taiwanese crime drama titled "Cities of Last Things" won the top prize in the Platform program of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)," the TIFF announced in a Sunday press release.

The 2018 film, produced and directed by Taiwan-based Malaysian director Ho Wi Ding (何蔚庭), was not just the only Mandarin Chinese film included in the Platform lineup, but also the only Taiwanese film featured at this year's TIFF.

"Cities of Last Things" was unanimously awarded the Toronto Platform prize by a three-person international jury, the TIFF said.

Now in its fourth year, Platform is the TIFF jury program that champions risk-taking, with a lineup of up to 12 works with high artistic merit and a bold directorial vision, according to the press release.

The film was awarded because "this is a deeply moving drama from a director who shows great skill in his ability to weave together multiple genres with social and political critique, while telling a story that remains intimately human at its core."

"For us, this film has a spirit that always feels beautifully close to real life," the jury said.

The international jury is comprised of award-winning filmmakers Mira Nair, an Indian-American writer-director; Bela Tarr of Hungary; and Lee Chang-dong of South Korea.

"Over the course of the festival, we've had the privilege of watching 12 films that left us excited with the feeling that the future of directors' cinema is in such capable hands," the jury said.

"The great joy of being on the Platform Jury has been participating in a competition celebrating emerging visions that are bold, daring, innovative and sometimes even challenging," it added.

Meanwhile, an honorable mention award went to Kazakh director Emir Baigazin's "The River."

Previous titles that have screened as part of the program include Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight" (2016), which won a Best Picture award at the Oscars.

"Cities of Last Things" tells a story about a common man who experiences extraordinary events in his mundane life. In 107 minutes, the film depicts the protagonist's turns of events in three key nights in three different eras in the same city, as told with reverse chronology.

The film had its world premiere at the TIFF and is scheduled to have its Asian premiere at South Korea's Busan International Film Festival in October. It will hit movie theaters in Taiwan Oct. 26.

(By Hu Yu-li and Evelyn Kao)

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