2012 Golden Koala Film Festival – HK Neo Reviews Award

Its been a great pleasure to be able to attend the 2012 Golden Koala Film Festival in Sydney. Meeting actors, directors, producers and cinematographers have been great fun. Like we did at the 15th Japanese Film Festival, its time for me to present some awards that I deem worthy.

Best Film
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Gallants 打擂台 (2010) – Hong Kong

” It is a rare kind of Hong Kong cinema that allows the audience to laugh out loud, embrace the past and present and perhaps cry a little in the whole process along the way. It is a uniquely Hong Kong film and for that alone, director Clement Cheng have a fine future ahead. A must see film for all Hong Kong cinema lovers…”

Best Director
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Tapu Chen 陳大璞 – Pick the Youth 皮克青春 (2011) – Taiwan

“All in all, Pick the Youth is a highly underrated film from a director who wanted to share an extremely personal story about father and son and the notion of what is best for them. It is a complicated dilemma that will face most parents in the past, present and future. What is so great about this film is that it doesn’t try to manufacture emotions and uses music as a medium to explain and show one’s passion. Rebellious youth will forever be a topic of interest in coming of age youth cinema, but director Tapu Chen (陳大璞) is able to show a different side. Pick the Youth could well have been just another well-meaning art house flick, but it is more than that, because once you are hooked, you are unlikely to leave your seat.”

Best Actor
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Teddy Robin 泰迪羅賓 – Merry-Go-Round 東風破 (2010) – Hong Kong

“2010 is the year of reborn for Teddy Robin, although he won the Best Supporting Actor for Gallants, to me, this is by far the better performance. As Teddy noted, in Gallants, he was basically playing himself, but here, he is playing a role that he has never tackled and the result is quite stunning. There is no doubt that Teddy despite his miniature looks has wonderful screen presence and with age, he has improved his dramatic range through years of experience in life.”

Best Actress

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Ella Koon 官恩娜 – Merry-Go-Round 東風破 (2010) – Hong Kong

“Together with Ella Koon who also put in a career best display, both lifts the film above the direction and carries the film on their broad shoulders. It is a commendable effort from both.”

Best Supporting Actor
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Ko Yue-Lun 柯宇綸 – Jump! Ashin 翻滚吧!阿信 (2011) – Taiwan

“Likewise Ko Yue-Lun simply steals the show as Ashin’s sidekick. His conflicted emotions in display as well as being a drug addict further enhance his ability as an actor in probably the most difficult role in the film.”

Best Supporting Actress

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Zaizai Lin 林辰唏 – Jump! Ashin 翻滚吧!阿信 (2011) – Taiwan

“Although, Zaizai Lin’s screen time is kept to a minimal, but Lin was simply iresistably sweet and the manner she manages to extend from her page thin role, just goes to show the potential of her acting ability. Another actress to stay in touch with and certainly can do so much more in a meatier role.”

If you are any of the above and is in Sydney, feel free to contact me @ webmaster@thehkneo.com, to receive your award.

Looking forward to next year’s festival!

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