The Greek movie Little England (Mikra Anglia), collected three of the top awards at the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival this year, including the prestigious Golden Goblet Award for best film. The judging panel, headed by actress Gong Li, also awarded the film with the best director prize, which Pantelis Voulgaris accepted in person. Pinelopi Tsilika also took home an award for best actress for her performance in the film.
The 2013 release is a Greek period drama based on a novel written by Voulgaris’ wife. It tells the story of two sisters from the Greek island of Andros and is based in the interwar period of the 1950s.
Accepting the award for best actor was Vithaya Pansringarm, who played Chavoret in The Last Executioner. The film, directed by Tom Waller, had its first world premier at the festival and is about the last person in Thailand who had the job of executing by gun.
The decision to present to Grand Prix award to China’s Zhang Meng for The Uncle Victory has been met with some controversy as it was revealed that the popular actor Huang Haibo who stars in the film was detained for 15 days for having sex with a prostitute. The film was not shown to the press or public and questions about the lack of screenings were avoided at a SIFF press conference.
Other award winners were Chinese photographer Luo Pan, who took home the Best Cinematography award for The Sacred Arrow and also Cyril Gely and Volker Schlöndorff who got the best screenplay award for Diplomacy.
As promised, this year’s fest featured appearances from some big Hollywood names such as Natalie Portman, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman and the festival ended with an early screening of Transformers: Age of Extinction.
By Sophie Regan