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A still from The Winter, winner of the prize for best film at Macau’s first international film festival.

Argentine film The Winter takes top prize at first Macau international film festival

Festival jury president ‘amazed by the infrastructure’ of Macau and says it has the potential to become an important Asian host for such events


The Winter, an Argentine film about survival and isolation, won best film at the inaugural Macau Film Festival, and its director said he hoped the accolade would bring his work closer to Asia.

Set on a ranch in southern Patagonia, the story focuses on an old foreman replaced by a younger man. As a harsh winter arrives, the ageing man attempts to scare his successor away.

A scene from The Winter, set in chilly southern Patagonia.

“I hope the award can bring my film closer to Asia and allow the continent’s audience to watch it,” director Emiliano Torres said.

Portugal’s Marco Martins took the directing prize for Saint George, which also brought a best actor statuette for Nuno Lopes.

The six-day festival, organised by the Macau government and the Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association, showcased a variety of films across the city.

Jury president Shekhar Kapur said Macau had the potential to become an important Asian host for films and cultural festivals.

Asian culture “needs venues, from which it can express itself. I was amazed by the infrastructure that is here,” Kapur said.

A still from Tracy Choi’s Sisterhood.
Gigi Leung in Sisterhood.

Residents of Macau chose Sisterhood for the Macau audience choice award. The festival’s big home-grown premiere, Tracy Choi’s nostalgic drama stars Gigi Leung Wing-kei as Seiya, who returns to present-day Macau, only to discover the city she knew has been replaced by a neon-lit gambling metropolis. When she tracks down the son of her friend Yu, it sparks a melancholic yearning for the ’90s, when she worked as a masseuse and cared for Yu’s baby as if it was her own.