Chinese Visual Festival (CVF) is proud to announce its 2015 Jury Awards, highlighting the very best films from the festival programme. The jury this year consisted of film director and producer Aditya Assarat (Hi-So), scholar Luke Robinson, and Andrew Heskins, managing editor and founder of the website Eastern Kicks. The awards are as follows, with comments from the jury:

Grand Prize: Cotton (Zhou Hao)

‘Cotton’ is a brilliant example of how to make a persuasive documentary without grandstanding editorial or emotive devices. Director Zhou Hao engages us through candid observation of likeable subjects involved in every stage of cotton production, from the fields to international markets and back again. It’s hard not to be moved as this deliberately paced film gradually makes clear the human cost of this global industry.Cotton Chinese Visual Festival

Jury Prize: The Hammer and Sickle are Sleeping (Geng Jun)

This often-hilarious comedy mixes scenes of farce with a wry commentary on China today, as we follow three totally demoralised (and amoral) men trying to get by in a remote Chinese village. Clever, funny, Geng Jun finds just the right tone for this story, capturing the surprising beauty of his bleak surroundings.The Hammer and Sickle are Sleeping

Special Mentioning: Heaven’s Will (Pengfei Lee)

A fascinating portrait of Naixiao, a former gangster turned farmer, whose alleged ability to predict when people will die sees him become a cornerstone of his local community, and an unlikely bulwark against the threats posted by modern development. Where it would be easy to dismiss him as a charlatan or master manipulator, director Pengfei Lee instead gives us a multifaceted study of Naixiao that can’t help but draw you in.Heaven’s Will

The films are part of the 2015 Chinese Visual Festival, which runs from 7th – 22nd May at King’s College London, with events also being held at the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank, Bertha DocHouse and Chelsea College of Arts.

For its fifth edition, the festival is thrilled to welcome to London some of the most exciting directors currently working in Chinese language cinema, showcasing documentary, fiction and experimental video art from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and beyond.

Programme Highlights:
  • Guest artists Zhang Peili, the father of Chinese Video Art, Wu Xiaohai and Rao Yifan
  • Guest directors Gu Tao, Yee Chih-Yen, Singing Chen, Chiayun Wu and Shen Xin
  • More than 40 cutting-edge films, including world and UK premieres
  • Vision Taiwan strand, featuring the best in independent cinema from Taiwan
  • Panel discussions and sessions on queer cinema, Hong Kong Urban Diary and more
  • UK tour, including Newcastle, Nottingham and Sussex Universities

The full festival schedule and tickets are available on the Chinese Visual Festival website.