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‘Last Sunrise’, by Wen Ren, wins the Fantasporto grand prize

The film ‘Last Sunrise’, the first by Chinese director Wen Ren and in a world premiere at Fantasporto’2019, won the 39th edition of that film festival, which also awarded films from India, Korea, Australia, Hungary and the Philippines, was announced today.

In a statement, Porto’s International Film Festival said that the prize for best performance was for British filmmaker Julian Richards, “for the two films he presented in this section” (“Reborn” and “Daddy’s Girl“), in an “unpublished fact” at the festival, where “never before has a director had two films in competition, both in international pre-show.

According to the organization, the film that won the grand prize of this year’s festival edition, ‘Last Sunrise’, is “one of the first science fiction films produced in China with great interpretations and special effects,” in which “astronomer Sun Yang and his young assistant Chen Mu discover an icy world where they project the future of humanity after the sun disappears.

The special jury prize of the official section of the fantastic film went to ‘In Fabric’, by British director Peter Strickland (from ‘Berberian Sound Studio’, awarded at Fantasporto 2012), for his ‘high level of originality’ in this section a special mention to the American film “The Fare”, by DC Hamilton.

The prize for the best story was for Rodrigo Aragão, screenwriter and director of the Brazilian film ‘A Mata Negra’, and the award for best actor was presented to Christopher Rygh for his performance in the film ‘The Head Hunter’ “which has a strong Portuguese component” and also won the prize for best film in the Portuguese film section.

Australia’s Georgia Chara was considered the best actress by her performance in ‘Living Space’, by her compatriot Steven Spiel, Hungarian film ‘His Master’s Voice’ by György Pálfy, won the prize for best photography and visual effects and the prize for the best short fantastic film went to the Israeli film ‘My First Time’, by Asaf Livni.

At the Directors’ Week, the winner of the best film award was Werewolf by Polish director Adrian Panek, a film about “a group of children released from a Nazi concentration camp at the end of World War II who find shelter in an abandoned mansion and there he is trapped, surrounded by a pack of guard dogs fleeing from the same camp.

The special jury prize in this competition was for the Filipino film ‘Waiting for Sunset’, the first feature film by Carlo Catu (screenplay for ‘Laut’, film presented at Fantasporto in 2018) and already distinguished for best film in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

This film also won the award for best actor, with Dante Rivero acknowledging his performance, while the award for Best Director of this section was awarded to American filmmaker Christina Choe for her first feature film, ‘Nancy’.

The award for best script was won by Balint Hegedûs and Károly Uji Mészáros for the film X-The eXploited (Hungary), and the award for best actress was awarded ‘ex-aequo’ to the Filipino actresses, Ai-Ai of the Wings, for his performance in ‘School Service’, and Ina Raymundo, for performance in ‘Kuya Wes’.

In the ‘Orient Express’ section, the winner was South Korean film ‘The Withc: Part 1 – The Subversion’ by Hoon-Jong Park (screenwriter for ‘I Saw The Devil’ in 2011), and the special jury prize was awarded to “School Service“, by Louie Lagdameo Ignacio.

The public award honoured the British documentary ‘The Panama Papers’ by British director Alex Winter, while the critics’ award went to the Indian film’ Painting Life ‘by Biju Kumar Damodaran.

In the scope of the Portuguese film prize – attributed to the North American production ‘The Head Hunter’, which under Jordan Downey’s direction “involved a large Portuguese team and was filmed in the Northeast of Portugal, in the zone of Bragança” – the School of Innovation Technologies and Creation (ETIC), in Lisbon, won the Inter-School Competition, with the special mention of creativity being given to the film “Cinzas” by Célia Fraga, from the Porto Superior Art School.

The 39th edition of Fantasporto ends on Sunday and today has the closing session, with the screening of the movie winner of the grand prize, ‘Last Sunrise’, preceded by the best short fantastic ‘My First Time’.

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