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1ST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & AWARDS‧MACAO CONCLUDES WITH SUCCESS

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The 1st International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (“IFFAM”) officially concluded on 13 December. The Awards Ceremony was held at Macao Cultural Centre at 8 p.m. tonight. Around 800 guests were present in the ceremony including many internationally-acclaimed directors, film stars, industry professionals and personages. The personages include the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Alexis Tam; Spouse of Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Mrs. Winnie Chui; Deputy Director-General of the Department of Culture and Education of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Zhao Chuan Dong; Spouse of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the Macao SAR, Counsellor Qiu Weiwei; Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; President of Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA) and Executive Vice President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Alvin Chau; IFFAM Image Ambassador Zhang Hanyu; IFFAM Talent Ambassador Rhydian Vaughan; acclaimed directors and Festival Ambassadors Ann Hui and Clemens Klopfenstein; Jury President of IFFAM, Shekhar Kapur; Jury members of IFFAM, Giovanna Fulvi, Stanley Kwan and Makiko Watanabe; as well as the director and co-writer of Oscars 2016 Best Picture “Spotlight”, Tom McCarthy, among other guests.

MGTO Director and President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Senna Fernandes, stated in her closing remarks, “After an intensive program of activities from film screenings, Industry Hub, Masterclasses to press conferences and more over the last six days, tonight, we come to the closing of the International Film Festival & Awards‧ Macao. This inaugural edition of the Film Festival not only has elevated Macao’s international reputation, boosted the synergy between tourism and culture and promoted local tourism development, but also introduced world class exchange opportunities, functioned as a regional exchange platform and empowered the local film industry as well as the cultural and creative industry to progress, while widening the cultural perspectives of our local residents and bringing multi-faceted benefits to Macao at large.”

Winners in Competition Section are announced
The six-day Film Festival was a success and came to an end tonight. Winners in the Competition Section were announced and presented the awards on the closing night. The Competition pitted twelve films against each other for a total of eight awards and the Macao Audience Choice Award, which went to the most popular film voted by local audience. The twelve films are “150 Milligrams” (France), “Elon Doesn’t Believe in Death” (Brazil), “Free Fire” (United Kingdom), “Gurgaon” (India), “Hide and Seek” (China), “Queen of Spades” (Russia and Italy), “Saint George” (Portugal and France), “Shining Moment” (Hong Kong) , “Sisterhood” (Macao), “Survival Family” (Japan), “Trespass Against Us”(United Kingdom) and “The Winter” (Argentina and France). The winners were interviewed by media and shared their joy during the press conference held right after the Awards Ceremony at MGM Macau. The list of winners is as follows:

Best Film: The Winter [presented by Jury President of IFFAM Shekhar Kapur and Academy-Award Winning Director Tom McCarthy]
Best Director: Marco Martins (Saint George) [presented by Director Jonathan Chu and Festival Ambassador Ann Hui]
Best Actor Award: Nuno Lopes (Saint George) [presented by Producer Jason Taylor and Actress Lisa Lu]
Best Actress Award: Lyndsey Marshal (Trespass Against Us) [presented by IFFAM Actress in Focus Gwei Lun-mei and Actress Karena Lam]
Award for Best Technical Contribution: Elon Doesn’t Believe in Death for Original Music & Sound Design – Sound: Pablo Lamar and Original Soundtrack: Daniel Saavedra [presented by Producer Todd Brown and Actress Jin Qiao Qiao]
Award for Best Screenplay: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley (Free Fire) [presented by Jury Member of IFFAM Giovanna Fulvi and Actor Chin Han]
Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Jennifer Yu (Sisterhood) [presented by Producer Gianni Nunnari and Actress Margarida Vila-Nova]
Jury Prize: Trespass Against Us [presented by Jury Members of IFFAM Stanley Kwan and Makiko Watanabe]
Macao Audience Choice Award: Sisterhood [presented by Actress Josie Ho and IFFAM Talent Ambassador Rhydian Vaughan]

To commend outstanding films and filmmakers, the IFFAM Organizing Committee and Variety Magazine jointly conferred the Asian Blockbuster Film 2016 on the Korean film “Train to Busan” [presented by Variety’s Asia Bureau Chief Patrick Frater and IFFAM Head of Festival Management Lorna Tee], besides the above awards in the Competition Section; in addition, the Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA) presented the “MFTPA Special Award for Contribution to Chinese Film” to the Chief Executive Officer of Bona Film Group Limited, film producer and distributor Yu Dong [presented by President of MFTPA Alvin Chau], while the Career Achievement Award was presented to acclaimed Mainland director and actor Feng Xiaogang [presented by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Alexis Tam].

With the aim to raise public awareness of the Film Festival, encourage people to participate and enhance the glamour of the event, the “CINEFANTASY International Short Film Screenwriting Competition 2016” was held to inspire creativity in screenwriting. Awards were presented to the winners at MGM Macau after the Awards Ceremony. Jointly organized by the IFFAM Organizing Committee and the International Council for Films, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), the “CINEFANTASY International Short Film Screenwriting Competition 2016” received 168 qualified submissions from 44 origins worldwide. The two final winners are Ilashree and Manasri Goswami from India (title of entry: “Legacy of Dreams”) and Alessa Ellefson from Belgium (title of entry: “The Seeker’s Key”).

The Organizing Committee hopes that the event can introduce world-class exchange opportunities to the local cultural and creative industry, unleash a synergy between culture and tourism and enrich visitors’ cultural experience in Macao through different kinds of cultural tourism products and mega events, which will steer the tourism industry and the cultural and creative industry towards sustainable development in the long run, and support Macao to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.

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