Shanghai TV Festival: And the winners might be…By Tianzi Harrison Jun 11, 2012 8:04AM UTC
I remember when I was studying at Boston University, the Student Activities Office would hold an Oscar party in the basement of George Sherman Union every March. Anyone could take a crack at the winners. Prizes would go to those who got most of them right.
Perhaps the passion of my college years never left me. Since I wrote a blog post about the 18th Shanghai Television Festival a few days ago, I have had this itch to predict the results of the much coveted Magnolia Awards. Here goes my humble forecast.
Best Chinese TV Series
Claiming over 6.5 million votes as of today, Cliff or Xuan Ya ranks first in this category. It currently beats the first runner-up by nearly nine times. It is more than likely to win.
Jizhou Xu, the director of Indelible Designation or Yong Bu Mo Mie De Fan Hao, is leading the race. He outdoes Xiaolong Zheng, the director of Empresses in the Palace or Zhen Huan Zhuan by more than 100,000 votes. Xu is also very likely to win.
The numbers will speak for themselves: Li Sun from Empresses in the Palace or Zhen Huan Zhuan with 52 million votes is competing with Shishi Liu from Treading on Thin Ice or Bu Bu Jing Xin with 146 million votes so far.
Also from Treading on Thin Ice or Bu Bu Jing Xin, Nicky Wu, with over 153 million votes, is going to get the award for sure this year.
Rural Woman Xiaomai to Metropolis or Xiaomai Jin Cheng, screenplay by Xueli Ni, seems least stilted among the nominees, three of which deal with extremely patriotic topics whereas the fourth is adapted from the classic Chinese novel Water Margin.
Rural Woman dramatizes many women’s issues in society today. Unlike majority of Chinese films that “propagate violence, trickery and conspiracy,” according to Professor Frank Tian Xie (NTD), it endorses sincerity and honesty as best solutions to complicated interpersonal relationships. Moreover, Rural Woman could have the greatest appeal to a female-dominated jury presided by China’s best-known female director Shaohong Li.
Best TV Film
I guess that the award will go to Camel Caravan, which tells the story of Uighur camel trainers in Xinjiang, because it fits best into the themes of cultural diversity and richness particular to the 18th STVF.
Truth be told, I am not familiar with any of the directors’ works except Virginie Wagon’s The Dreamlife of Angels, of which I think very highly. I hope the award will go to Virginie Wagon for Clara s’en va mourir.
Without having seen any of the films, I could only judge from their synopses. In my opinion, Homevideo from Germany and The Kebab Incident from Austria are most likely to win.
Best Documentary (under 60 minutes)
After a series of eliminations, I picked Here I Learned to Love from Israel.
Best Documentary (above 60 minutes)
I think the winner is between Generation Kunduz from Afghanistan and The White Elephant from Germany.
I want to pick A Film Unfinished from Israel because it seems like a great documentary to write a film theory paper on.
Best Chinese Documentary
We have three nominees here. I think if the judges choose to go with the themes of the festival, then The Surging River will have a lot going for it because it is all about cultural diversity in ancient China. However, I am worried that its use of computer generated graphics could also seem hokey. If so, “Cloudy” Mountain will win.
Personally I want Yu Zhu, the director of “Cloudy” Mountain, to win because I admire his work. But Zhu is in fact very young and he has a long career ahead of him. Taking that into consideration, I think the award may likely go to Phil Grabsky for The Boy Mir – Ten Years in Afghanistan from Great Britain.
I think five films are likely to compete for this award. They are Frozen Planet from Great Britain, Tears of the Antarctic from Korea, The Hugo Brothers from Germany, and possibly Two Gorillas at Home from France. Out of them, Frozen Planet looks most promising.
I think the winner is between Howie and Landau’s Adventures under the Sea and OYEEO – The Singing Island, both from China.
Best Animation (short)
I think Small Potatoes from the U.S.A. is most likely to win. Weibo Tales from China is popular among Chinese, but it may have its best humor lost in translation for the jury.
Best Chinese Animation
A clay animation, Happy Town stands out from the other nominees. I think it’s a likely winner.