The third edition of the International Film Festival & Awards of Macao was held on 8-15 December, 2018. Macao is a city of glamour and art, and there is a high voltage synergy of art and commerce as well. With its great Chinese antiquity and Portuguese lineage, Macao is a perfect melting pot for Cinema’s past, present and future. Along with Masters and Stars, IFFAM focuses on the first and second time filmmakers. By drawing attention to these talented young artists, the festival is now a worthy launching pad for the aspiring filmmakers of the region.
NETPAC Jury - consisting of Mimi Plauche (USA) and Marco Martins (Portugal) and me - considered ten debut feature films for the award, originating from China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. By a unanimous decision, the NETPAC Award for the Best Film was given to Suburban Birds directed by the young director Qiu Sheng from China. The film is a poetic study of the transformation of people and spaces. It reflects on the widening of gaps in all spheres of social life and on the challenges regarding the responsibilities of individuals towards society and the environment.
The 3 rd IFFAM was very well organized and well attended by the public, industry and delegates. The Festival programme offered a fantastic feast of varied themes and stylistic approaches. One could watch a high ampere, psycho-horror film like Tumbbad directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad of India, to a gentle lullaby like Up the Mountain by Zhang Yang of China, with its distinct eastern pictorial sensibility, which to me personally was a surprise. There was also gems from the Great Masters like An Autumn Afternoon by Yazujiro Ozu and recent classics like Bandit Queen by Shekhar Kapoor. The Best Film Award of the festival was bestowed on Clean Up by Kwon Man-Ki of Korea.
It was the sincere and committed efforts of Mike Goodridge (Artistic Director), Lorna Tee (Head of Festival Management) and many others which made IFFAM a great success.
Report by: Sunny Joseph Edited by: Latika Padgaonkar