Chinese movie 11 Flowers, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai has won the prestigious NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award at the 18th Kolkata International Film festival (KIFF), which ended Saturday.
The 11 Flowers won the best film award in the Asian Select — the only competitive category in the KIFF — which had 13 films from 12 Asian countries vying for the award.
However, none of the cast or crew was present to receive the award. The Indian contingent comprised Tom Alter-starrer Cheekha (The Crier) and Subhadro Choudhury directed Lal Sweater (The Red Sweater).
Starring Wang Jinchun and Wenqing Liu in the lead, 11 Flowers is a semi-autobiographical story set in rural Guizhou Province in the latter days of the Cultural Revolution.
The mother of 11-year-old Wang Han (Jinchun) buys him a new shirt which he wears with pride. As news of a local murder spreads, Han unwittingly comes face to face with the fugitive and is forced to give him his shirt and conceal his whereabouts.
However, unable to keep the secret, Han confides in his closest friends, drawing them into a seemingly inescapable world of fear and unease.
It is a tale infused with symbolic resonances of the bridge between childhood and adulthood, memories of the past and human relationships.
Xiaoshuai ventured into filmmaking in 1993 with internationally acclaimed, The Days, but his 2001 film Beijing Bicycle won him much more fame.
The NETPAC award is now given at 28 international film festivals in 21 countries spread across five continents.