In a Chinese juvenile reform school where snitching and beating are encouraged, how can love and friendship survive and thrive?
Director: Chunhua Jiang is a senior student at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, majoring in Film Directing. He directed a short documentary called ‘Funeral’ in 2014, and a narrative short, ‘The Kite’, in 2016.
Judge Patrick Hurley said: “With ‘Where the Peach is in Bloom’, Chunhua Jiang takes us into a largely unknown world via some some compelling characters to show that love and friendship can thrive under the harshest strictures. We feel this film has vision, sensitivity, cinematic flair and above all, a great story at its heart.”
Director: Chunhua Jiang Production Company: CNEX Foundation Limited (China)
Chinaʼs pollution crisis inspires an environmental regulator to write novels about China’s problem with smog. The novels go viral. Now his passion for clean air sees him focused on shutting down the local steel works, despite the fact his own family depends on steel production for their living.
Director:Meng Han is a Beijing-based filmmaker. She has worked as a journalist for 11 years.
Judge Jane Mote said: “A great, funny and contradictory main character brings to life a hugely important issue of our times.“
Director: Meng Han Production Company: DuGood Productions (China)
A Chinese plastic surgeon and self-proclaimed artist seizes the spotlight for never-seen-before performances. This is a modern tale about vanity and self- glorification as well as an extreme investigation into humanity set against the backdrop of China today.
Director: Sascha Schöberl is a German director and DP based in Beijing. He holds a degree in film making arts from the London Middlesex University. As DP he has worked for a wide variety of feature length documentaries. As a director, Mirror Mirror on the Wall is his feature length debut.
Judge Harriet Armston-Clarke said: “Mirror Mirror on the Wall really gets ‘under the skin’ of our beauty-obsessed world, putting selfie-culture on the operating table and calling into question the impact this is having on us all – both as individuals and society.“
Director: Sascha Schöberl Production Companies: DOCDAYS Productions GmbH (Germany), CNEX Foundation Limited (China)
A 300-year-old Japanese village is on the brink of extinction. But can sake, Japan’s national sacred drink, save it from disappearing forever?
Director:Megumi Inman is a British-Japanese filmmaker with experience making documentaries for both UK and Japanese broadcasters including the BBC and NHK.
Judge Harriet Armston-Clarke said: “With a wry smile and through the prism of organic sake, Disappearing Village tells a truly universal tale of the changing face of the countryside and the battle between youth and their elders”.
Director: Megumi Inman Production Company: Sweet Take Studios (UK)
When men turn up dead the old folks whisper of the ‘aswang’, a shape-shifting beast from folklore. In Manila, bodies pile up and lives entwine as the state wages a brutal war against drugs and crime.
Director:Alyx Ayn Arumpac is a Filipino documentary filmmaker. She studied at the Docnomads Masters Course and at the University of the Philippines, and has participated in the Berlinale Docstation and Talents Tokyo. Her short documentaries have screened in Clermont Ferrand, Winterthur, Zurich Film Festival and DocLisboa.
Judge Seyi Rhodes said: “Immersed in a community at the sharp end of the Philippines’ war on drugs, Aswang paints a dark picture. Between the near-daily routine of death and grief we are confronted with a softer, but no less disturbing image – that of a child struggling to navigate his way through a violent and corrupt world.”
Director: Alyx Ayn Arumpac Production Company: Cinematografica Philippines