The members of the FIPRESCI jury found many relationships between the films in this year's International Competition. In particular, we were struck by the correspondences between a pair of Chinese films, which utilize very different tones and formal techniques to create a kind of national portraiture. With this in mind, we would like to make a special mention of Xu Xin's exceptional and brave documentary Karamay. However, after a long and difficult deliberation, we have decided to award the International Critics' Prize to a narrative film that plays innovatively with duration inside an impeccable mise-en-scene, and which uses a deadpan comedy style to frame deeper issues about Chinese society — especially its younger generation. That film is Winter Vacation (Han Jia), directed by Li Honqqi.
Locarno International Film Festival: www.pardo.ch