It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
JULY 2nd 2016
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Kong Jinlei is the recipient of TheWIFTS Jury Award 2016. Crosscurrent, a beautifully shot film directed by Yang Chao, is artfully edited with discernment. The film is a mesmerising journey up China's Yangtze River in the search of love and meditation of the Yangtze River - once the life blood and heart of China.
Kong Jinlei is China's most renowned female director. For many years she has enjoyed close cooperation and has worked with some of China's leading internationally known directors: Jia Zhangke, Huo Jianqi, Guan Hu, Diao Yi M, Tenghua Tao, Zhang Bai, Lou Ye, Zhang Meng and other directors. For her career to date she has been involved in the editing of more than thirty films including some gems that have travelled internationally to noted film festivals: Cannes and Venice.
Platform, written and directed by Jia Zhangke. The film is set in and around the small city of Fenyang, Shanxi province, China (Jia's birthplace), from the end of the 1970s to the beginning of the 1990s. It follows a group of twenty-something performers as they face personal and societal changes. The dialogue is a mixture of local speech, mainly Jin Chinese and Mandarin. The film has been called "an epic of grassroots". The film is named after a popular song about waiting at a railway platform. Platform has garnered wide acclaim from critics in the years since its release, and is often referred to as one of the great films of the 2000s.
Jia Zhangke's Still Life, a deeply felt and quietly impressive film, was the winner of the Golden Lion Venice film festival (2006), and features the superb and elegant actress Zhao Tao, charismatic star of his previous films, Unknown Pleasures (2002) and Platform (2000). Still Life was part of a retrospective for the director at London's BFI Southbank in 2008.
Still Life is a palimpsest of ideas and intentions - a meditation on mortality, a contemporary drama-documentary about an entire city preparing to be drowned in the service of China's Three Gorges hydro-electric dam project, and a portrait of a vast nation preparing for turbo-capitalist superpower status, but retaining the autocratic political habits of communism: high-handedly ordering the displacement of a million-and-a-half people, and the abolition of thousands of years of history.
The film premiered at a handful of other film festivals, and received a limited commercial release in the United States in January, 2008 in New York City.
Like The World, Jia Zhangke's previous film, Still Life was accepted by the Chinese authorities and was shown uncensored in both mainland China and abroad.
Night Train is writer-director Diao Yi'nan's second feature film. Night Train premiered in the 2007 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard competition and was one of only two Asian films (the other being Li Yang's Blind Mountain) in competition for an award in that year. Like his previous film, Uniform, Night Train takes place in Diao's home province of Shaanxi and was shot in and around Baoji. The film was produced by Diao's Beijing-based Ho-Hi Pictures with funding from French (Fonds Sud Cinema) and DViant Films.
For her prolific work as an editor, Kong Jenlei has received many awards in China and abroad, including in 2011 Sixth Chinese Youth Forum Annual Cutting-Edge Filmmakers Award; in 2014 Best Editing Award at the 51st Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival.
Kong Jenlei has served as a judge at the China Digital TV Edit Contest and the 49th Taiwan Golden Horse Awards.
Information courtesy of various sources including Wikipedia, The Guardian, Cannes & Venice Film Festival.