The Hong Kong International Film Festival presents five competition sections with the award winners decided by distinguished jury members consisting of renowned film industry professionals, film critics, directors and talent. The winners of the awards will be announced at the 39th HKIFF Awards Gala Ceremony

1. Young Cinema Competition
2. Documentary Competition
3. Short Film Competition
5. SIGNIS Award
Young Cinema Competition

The Young Cinema Competition is set up to encourage young filmmakers to explore the potentials of the cinema of our times.

Young Cinema Competition Jury
  Mohsen MAKHMALBAF was born in 1957 in Iran. He is a director, writer, producer, and human rights activist. He is known as one of the most influential filmmakers and founders of the new wave of Iranian cinema in the world today. He has written 30 literary and story books and has directed 30 features, shorts and documentaries in 10 different countries. He has received over 50 reputable international awards from prestigious film festival across the world including Cannes and Venice. Over the years his films have appeared frequently on the list of top 100 films of all times.
  Jonathan ROSENBAUM was film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. He currently maintains the website and has recently taught at Béla Tarr’s film.factory in Sarajevo and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. His most recent books include DeadMan, Movie Wars, Abbas Kiarostami (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa), MovieMutations (with Adrian Martin), Essential Cinema, Discovering Orson Welles, The Unquiet American: Transgressive Comedies from the U.S., and GoodbyeCinema, Hello Cinephilia.
  Sandra NG is a Hong Kong actress, having starred in over 100 films. In 1999, she won the Best Actress award at the Hong Kong Film Awards with Portland Street Blues (98). In 2003, she received the Best Actress award at the Golden Horse Awards with her role in Golden Chicken (02). Other films include All’s Well End Well (92), Jiang Hu: The Triad Zone (00), Echoes of the Rainbow (09), All About Love (10), 12 Golden Ducks (15).
  Chris LEE is the former President of Production of Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures and a producer. As a Hollywood executive, Mr. Lee supervised such Academy Award-winning films as Jerry Maguire (96), As Good AsIt Gets (97), and Philadephia (93), and was the Executive Producer for Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (06) and Valkyrie (08). Most recently, he produced How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) (15) which makes its Asian Premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Mr. Lee is also the Founder and Director of the Academy for Creative Media System at the University of Hawaii.
Nominees: ATA, Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories, Borderless, K, Koza, Sworn Virgin, The Coffin In the Mountain, Vanishing Point.

Firebird Award
Sworn Virgin / Directed by Laura Bispuri
Jury’s comment: At once universal and specific, this is a beautifully performed film of discovery about sexual identity and about culture, for its characters and for its audience.

Jury Prize
K / Directed by Darhad Erdenibulag, Emyrap Richard
Jury’s comment: A Mongolian version of Franz Kafka's comic and absurdist novel The Castle that is as witty and as challenging as the original. 

Special Mention

The Coffin in the Mountain / Directed by Xin Yukun
Jury’s comment: An engaging black comedy set in a rural Chinese village that illuminates the challenges of everyday life. It offers a microcosm in which everyone is implicated.

Documentary Competition

The Hong Kong International Film Festival considers documentaries addressing social issues with aesthetical significance as an essential component of any meaningful film festival. The Documentary Competition is a salute to filmmakers around the world for their devotion to the documentary form and its languages.

Documentary Competition Jury
  WAN Jen was born in 1950. He studied film in Columbia College in California. He is one of the important film directors of Taiwan New Wave. He directed the segment The Taste of the Apples in the film The SandwichMan (83). Selected Filmography: Ah Fei (84), Super Citizen (85), Farewell to the Channel (87), The Story of Taipei Women (91), Super Citizen Ko (95), Connection by Fate (98), Puppet Angel (02), It Takes Two to Tango (14).
  Chris FUJIWARA is a film critic and programmer. He has written books on Jerry Lewis, Otto Preminger, and Jacques Tourneur and edited the anthology Defining Moments in Movies (Little Black Book: Movies) and the online film-criticism magazine Undercurrent. He has contributed to numerous anthologies and journals and has lectured on film aesthetics and film history at Tokyo University, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, and elsewhere. From 2012 to 2014 he was Artistic Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival.
  WONG Bik-wan was born in Hong Kong in 1961. She is a qualified lawyer and worked as a journalist. She has won a number of literary awards, including the awards for the novel of the 3rd, 6th and 12th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature, the essay award of the 4th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature, the 6th Hong Kong Book Prize, the 2012 and 2014 Yazhou Zhoukan 10 Best Novels Award and the 5th Dream of the Red Chamber Award. Her works have been selected and included in a number of literary book collections in Taiwan.
Nominees: 1989, A Young Patriot, Hotline, I Am the People, I Want to See the Manager, Manufacturing Romance, Nearby Sky, This is My Land.

Firebird Award
I Am The People / Directed by Anna Roussillon
Jury’s comment: For showing a very important historical event from the perspective of people whose voices are normally not heard and not valued.

Jury Prize
A Young Patriot / Directed by Du Hiabin
Jury’s comment: For its sincere and complex depiction of the changes over time in how a young person sees himself and his society.

Short Film Competition

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Short Film Competition supports the production and re-invention of the short film, a form with its own formal, aesthetic and expressive qualities distinct from those of the feature. It is also a platform for international and local short film directors to exchange visions and ideas.

Short Film Competition Jury
  FUJIOKA Asako is an international film festival organizer and distributor. She has worked with the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Japan as coordinator, director, and is now a board member. She established the New Asian Currents program, a collection of films and videos by emerging documentarists from 1995–2003, and organized documentary workshops with young Asian filmmakers 2009–2011. She has been working with Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Network of Documentary Fund since 2006.
  Heinz HERMANNS In 1981 he founded the art house cinema Eiszeit in Berlin. From its beginning in 1982, he directed the international short film festival and distribution Berlin – interfilm. He founded the Zebra Poetry Short Film festival as well as the Going Underground film festival for short films in the subway. In 2014 he founded and directed the ShortVisions short film festival in Ningbo, China. He gave seminars on film language in short film for students, experts and also kids and adolescents all over the world.
  CHAN Chui Hing, Nose is the programmer of Hong Kong Independent Film Festival. Graduated from The University of Hong Kong and School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, he began making video in 1998, and regularly screens his work locally and abroad. In 2000, he won the Distinguished Award at the 6th ifva for his piece Well. He also edited for Darkness Bride (03), Innocent (04), Magic Boy (07), High Noon (08) and Farewell Loneliness (11).
Nominees: Architektura, A Blue Room, The Concrete, Lembusura, Why?, Aïssa, Daewit, It Was Sunny the Day I Killed Her, Jump Off or Live On, The Wait of May, Bad at Dancing, Hipopotamy, Leidi, Listen, Tristes Déserts – A Robot ’s Tale, Acapella, Boogaloo and Graham, Planet Σ, Superior, Take Me.

Firebird Award
Listen / Directed by Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni
Jury’s comment: The film manages with a great script and convincing acting to draw the spectator into the middle of seemingly unsolvable problems. The situation of helplessness, misunderstanding and cultural clashes is so intense that it angers, hurts and leaves us, as helpless as the protagonists.

Jury Prize
A Blue Room / Directed by Tomasz Siwinski
Jury’s comment: A single fatal moment extended in the life of the protagonist. This hand-drawn animation film transforms a simple four-walled room into a multitude of vehicles for memory travel using unexpected visual and audio aesthetics, assuredly expressing the depth of human trauma and personal experience.

Special Mention
Leidi/ Directed by Simon Mesa Soto
Jury’s comment: A compelling story of a teenage mother. Her unsatisfied wish for communication and love, her state of uncertainty and helplessness are captured through masterful cinematography, executed by well-orchestrated mise-en-scene and captivating performance of cast.


Presented by the International Federation of Film Critics since the 23rd edition of the HKIFF, The FIPRESCI Prize promotes film-art and encourages new and young cinema. FIPRESCI is an association of the national organisations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world for the promotion and development of film culture. The FIPRESCI Prize recognises enterprising filmmaking and twelve first films by Asian directors are selected by HKIFF, and the FIPRESCI jury comprised of three renowned personalities selects the winner of the FIPRESCI Prize. The films eligible for the Prize are identified by the FIPRESCI logo.


Bérénice Reynaud is the author of Nouvelles Chines, nouveaux cinémas and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “A City of Sadness”. Her writing has been published in Sight & Sound, Film Comment, CinemaScope, Senses of Cinema, Cahiers du cinéma, Le Monde diplomatique and Libération. A program consultant for The Viennale and the San Sebastian International Film Festival, she is Co-Curator of the film series at REDCAT (CalArts multimedia theater). She teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.

  CHANG Yen-Tuo is a film reviewer from Taiwan who has been writing on his blog for more than eight years. He was once a blogger-jury member of Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films. He is also a regular guest of an arts programme on and has given lectures on various occasions. His recent works can be found on online/printed magazines such as BIOS Monthly, Thinking Taiwan and Humanistic Education Journal.
  Joyce YANG is a member of Hong Kong Film Critics Society and film columnist. Her film reviews appear in various publications including City Magazine, HKinema and World Screen. She has co-curated film programmes such as “Critics’ Choice” (2012-14) and co-edited books on Chiu Kang-Chien and film criticism in Chinese Students Weekly in the sixties. She has also served as a jury member for the Hong Kong Film Awards, Chinese Film Media Awards and Chinese Documentary Festival in Hong Kong.
Nominees: 40-Love, ATA, Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories, Borderless, The Coffin in the Mountain, The Council of Birds, End of Winter, K, Koza, Men Who Save the World, Sworn Virgin, Vanishing Point.

K / Directed by Darhad Erdenibulag, Emyrap Richard
Jury’s comment: The jury was impressed by the originality of K’s mise-en-scène and approach to filmmaking. A precious collaboration between a Mongolian director and a Welsh filmmaker, this adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Castle, shot with available light and with an insightful use of Mongolian music, expresses the absurdity of the human condition caught in a liminal space between dreams and wakefulness.


The SIGNIS Award is presented annually by SIGNIS to recognise the excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. Co-organised with SIGNIS Hong Kong, it is a salute to films that fully express social and humanitarian concerns, as well as spiritual and artistic values. HKIFF selects twelve nominees and the SIGNIS jury comprised of three renowned personalities selects the winner of the SIGNIS Award. The Awards are identified by the SIGNIS logo.

SIGNIS Award Jury
  Ninfa WATT is a Spanish journalist, film reviewer and professor. Graduated with a PhD on Communication, she is a contributor to radio Cadena COPE for the program El espejo, about cinema. She is also a member of the management team of CinemaNet and a member of Signis-España. She used to be associate professor in the Faculty of Communication in the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (Spain), where she was also vice-dean and director of the Postgraduate course “Experto en Comunicación Social”.
  Nancy WANG is a renowned expert in advertising. Currently, she is the owner of the SHE Production, working on documentary films and public service advertising in Taiwan. She was chosen as The 10 Most Outstanding Women (92), Papal Orders of Chivalry: The Order of St. Sylvester (03). Her film The Story of the Comfort Women During WorldWar II (98) won Best Documentary at Taipei Golden Horse Awards.
  Mary Mee-Yin YUEN is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Catholic Studies, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also a guest professor at the Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology and Philosophy and serves as a member at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She worked in the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese for many years. She loves to watch films and dramas as leisure activities.
Nominees: ’71, 40-Love, Accused, Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories, Borderless, Charlie’s Country, The Council of Birds, End of Winter, Koza, Phoenix, River Road, Tales.

River Road / Directed by Li Ruijun
Jury’s comment: The film portrays the journey of two little brothers from a forgotten minority tribe in Northern China, seeking their homeland of water and meadow. Through the eyes of children, this film shows the increasing awareness of identity, the importance of brotherhood and relationship with family, love and reconciliation between human beings, animals and the nature.

Special Mention
Phoenix / Directed by Christian Petzold
Jury’s comment: The film show how the protagonist, a woman with a traumatic experience in the Nazi concentration camp, reborn from her own ashes by recovering her identity, personality, dignity and independence, even in the face of a painful truth.