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Limbo claims two major prizes at 5th International Film Festival & Awards Macao

The 5th International Film Festival & Awards • Macao (IFFAM) was concluded on 8 December, with an online closing ceremony hosted by IFFAM artistic director Mike Goodridge. Outstanding films and industry professionals were respectively given awards in recognition of either their quality or prestigious achievements.

Limbo, a film directed by Ben Sharrock, about the experiences of refugees in Scotland, was awarded Best Film and Best Screenplay in the International Competition section.

The Best Director award went to Suzanne Lindon for Spring Blossom. Lance Henriksen won Best Actor for his performance in Falling; the Best Actress award went to Magdalena Koleśnik in Sweat. The Best Short Film award was given to director Jiao Yue for Under.

The jury of the International Competition section featured a strong line-up: Ning Hao, a film director, producer and screenwriter from Mainland China, who was the Jury President; Mattie Do, a director and producer from Laos; German actress Nina Hoss; director, producer and screenwriter Eric Khoo from Singapore; and Hong Kong International Film Festival executive director Albert Lee.

In presenting the Best Film award to Limbo, Jury President Ning said: “The jury unanimously agreed that it was a thought-provoking piece of work, because of its in-depth exploration of society and also the relationship between culture and humanity.”

The jury of the Short Film Competition comprised producer Fu Jia, film producer and festival programmer Mathilde Henrot, and filmmaker Johnny Ma. The winner of this section was Under, directed by Jiao Yue. “Among the brilliant films in the selection, we felt this one gathered the many qualities of a promising director engaging with his audience”, Henrot said.

Among other awards from the event, Hirokazu Kore-eda was honoured for his outstanding achievements in film with the Spirit of Cinema award. In his acceptance speech, Kore-eda said he felt his hard work had “finally paid off”. “In the days to come, I hope to continue to create and produce more movies, and continue the spirit of creativity and hard work,” he added.

The IFFAM Project Market offered support to 14 projects moving through to production. Four Project Market Awards were delivered. The US$15,000-award for Best Project went to director Wang Haolu and producer Camille Gatin for Fellow Travellers. The Creative Excellence Award, worth US$10,000, went to Titanic Ocean, a Greek, French and Japanese project. The Best Co-production Award, also worth US$10,000 went to Entanglement, a U.S.-Thailand-Spain project. The US$5,000 Macao Spirit Award was awarded to Singapore-Indonesia project Prisoners of the Pacific by director Huang Junxiang and producer Eric Khoo.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the festival’s 2020 edition move online. A total of 31 feature films and 10 short films was streamed to audiences in Macao and Hong Kong.

“It was a daunting challenge for the whole IFFAM team to take the festival online, but we are happy with the results and have received great feedback from the people of Macao and Hong Kong,” said festival artistic director Mike Goodridge.

For more details on the 5th IFFAM, please visit