Zhang Xinyang’s ‘Cold Water’ is Hot Pick at Shanghai Film Project Market

The 17th edition of the SIFF Project Market, held on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival, wrapped this week with the awarding of various prizes and an early evening party.

In the juried section prizes were determined by a panel including Lu Chuan, Luca Liang and Yao Chen. Others were decided by individual company sponsors.

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Organizers reported that 34 Chinese film projects were presented, comprising 23 were debut feature films, 8 second features and 3 third features by their respective directors.
They held 19 public pitches and two rounds of work-in-progress screenings. In all, some 150 companies took part in a total of 661 meetings.

“Cold Water,” by director Zhang Xinyang, had previously been pitched at project stage at the 2020 edition of the SIFF Project market. This time it returned as a work in progress, earned a unanimous jury verdict and received an offer of financial support from Lu.

Other standouts included: “A Girl Unknown,” which had previously been pitched at Cannes; “Party A,” the debut directorial effort of screenwriter Lei Zhilong (“A Cool Fish,” “The Insanity” and “Home Coming”); “All Beings,” by Dong Yue (who previously directed “The Looming Storm”) ; “The Crescent Moon” by producer and Tokyo International Film Festival director Ichiyama Shozo; and “The Good Family, an adaptation of the novel “Girls in Adolescence” to be the directing debut of the author, Qiu Wei.

Among the company-backed prizes, Mahua FunAge Pictures, Dirty Monkey Films and Alibaba Pictures provided development-stage projects with RMB150,000 ($20,000) each. Phenom Films, Mofei Pictures and Image Forestt committed to supporting the work-in-progress winners to in-kind support including post-production services, color grading and sound production.

2024 SIFF Project Winners

New Talent Project: “A Girl Unknown”
Most Creative Project: “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”
Annual Focus: “Strangers in the Mountain”
Best WIP Project: “As River Goes By”
Jury’s Choice: “Cold Water”

Mahua FunAge’s “Full of Laughter” Award
“Check On Me If You Have Time”
Dirty Monkeys 72 Transformations Award
“Party A”
Alibaba Pictures Award
“Good Kid, Bad Kid”
Phenom Films Award
“The Gullible Deer”
Mofei Pictures Creative Sound’s Choice
“The Gullible Deer”
lmageForestt Award
“One Night and Three Summers”
Aputure Pictures Award
“A Girl Unknown”
KO Special Attention Project
“The Crescent Moon”
INBETWEEN Special Attention Projects
“As River Goes By”
“Cold Water”

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