2021 ICS Award Winners

Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains Wins Top Prize at 18th ICS Awards

Honoring films shown worldwide in 2020.

Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains has won Best Picture, Cinematography and Debut Feature at this year’s International Cinephile Society Awards. Gu Xiaogang’s beautiful film, inspired by a famed 14th-century painting, drifts through the daily lives of four brothers along the banks of the Yangtze River, unscrolling scene by scene to entrancing effect. Cinematographers Deng Xu and Yu Ninghui linger on the river and the seasons in natural rhythms that are both gorgeous and evocative.

Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow serves up the milk of human kindness via Cookie and King-Lu, two lonely young men seeking their fortune but finding instead deep friendship in the rough-and-tumble of the Oregon gold rush. Reichardt received top honors for Best Director, and also won Adapted Screenplay with co-writer Jonathan Raymond, based on his book.

Brazilian politics/horror/western mash-up Bacurau fought its way to three ICS awards: iconic actress and activist Sônia Braga for her scene-stealing supporting turn as Doctor Domingas; writer-directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles for Original Screenplay; and the terrific international cast for Best Ensemble.

Aditya Modak earned the Best Actor award for his lyrical performance as an Indian classical music vocalist in The Disciple. Best Actress went to Lingua Franca‘s Isabel Sandoval as a Filipino trans woman desperately trying to obtain a green card while she lives in fear of deportation from the US. And the Supporting Actor trophy was snagged by Francisco Barreiro, who pulls off an amazing triple role in the meta-experimental film Fauna, satirizing Mexico’s narco culture.

Artist Josep Bartoli is the subject of cartoonist Aurel’s delicate film about art and war, Josep, which received the Animated Feature award. In an especially strong year for Spanish-language (and Portuguese) films, The Year of the Discovery by Luis López Carrasco won Best Documentary. The full list of ICS winners and nominees appears below.

01.  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains
02.  First Cow
03.  Days
04.  Nomadland
05.  Lingua Franca
06.  Lovers Rock
07.  La virgen de agosto
08.  A Portuguesa
09.  Bacurau
10.  If It Were Love
11.  Never Rarely Sometimes Always
12.  I’m Thinking of Ending Things
13.  The Year of the Discovery
14.  The Wasteland
15.  Fauna
16.  Identifying Features
17.  The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)
18.  Malmkrog
19.  The Disciple
20.  Residue
21.  À l’abordage
22.  DAU. Degeneration
23.  Madre
24.  Undine
25.  Love Affair(s)

Winner:  Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
RU:  Isabel Sandoval – Lingua Franca
RU:  Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
•  Rita Azevedo Gomes – A Portuguesa
•  Gu Xiaogang – Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains
•  Tsai Ming-liang – Days

Winner:  Aditya Modak – The Disciple
RU:  Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
•  Bartosz Bielenia – Corpus Christi
•  Alfredo Castro – My Tender Matador
•  Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
•  James Norton – Nowhere Special

Winner:  Isabel Sandoval – Lingua Franca
RU:  Marta Nieto – Madre
•  Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
•  Frances McDormand – Nomadland
•  Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
•  Barbara Sukowa – Two of Us

Winner:  Francisco Barreiro – Fauna
RU:  Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
•  Anong Houngheuangsy – Days
•  Orion Lee – First Cow
•  Édouard Sulpice – À l’abordage
•  André Wilms – The Salt of Tears

Winner:  Sônia Braga – Bacurau
RU:  Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
•  Candice Bergen – Let Them All Talk
•  Lynn Cohen – Lingua Franca
•  Vasilisa Perelygina – Beanpole
•  Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Winner:  Bacurau
RU:  Malmkrog
•  À l’abordage
•  Da 5 Bloods
•  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains
•  Lovers Rock

Winner:  Bacurau – Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
RU:  Lingua Franca – Isabel Sandoval
•  À l’abordage – Guillaume Brac, Catherine Paillé
•  Fauna – Nicolás Pereda
•  La virgen de agosto – Itsaso Arana, Jonás Trueba
•  Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Eliza Hittman

Winner:  First Cow – Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
RU:  Malmkrog – Cristi Puiu
•  Atarrabi & Mikelats – Eugène Green
•  I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Charlie Kaufman
•  Moffie – Oliver Hermanus, Jack Sidey
•  A Portuguesa – Rita Azevedo Gomes

Winner:  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains – Deng Xu, Yu Ninghui
RU:  The Wild Goose Lake – Dong Jingsong
•  First Cow – Christopher Blauvelt
•  Lovers Rock – Shabier Kirchner
•  Notturno – Gianfranco Rosi
•  A Portuguesa – Acácio de Almeida

Winner:  The Wasteland – Sara Yavari
RU:  Residue – Merawi Gerima
•  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains – Liu Xinzhu
•  First Cow – Kelly Reichardt
•  Los conductos – Camilo Restrepo
•  Lovers Rock – Chris Dickens, Steve McQueen

Winner:  A Portuguesa – Nuno Franco
RU:  First Cow – Anthony Gasparro, Lisa Ward, Vanessa Knoll
•  Beanpole – Sergey Ivanov
•  DAU. Degeneration – Denis Shibanov
•  Malmkrog – Dinica Tiberiu
•  The Twentieth Century – Dany Boivin

Winner:  Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time – Gábor Keresztes
RU:  First Cow – William Tyler
•  The Disciple – Naren Chandavarkar, Aneesh Pradhan
•  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains – Dou Wei
•  Mank – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
•  Soul – Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Winner:  Sound of Metal – Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Michelle Couttolenc
RU:  Lovers Rock – Ronald Bailey, Paul Cotterell, James Harrison
•  The Disciple – Anirban Borthakur, Naren Chandavarkar, Anita Kushwaha
•  Residue – Alex J. Bledsoe, Isiah Clarke
•  Tenet – Willie D. Burton, Richard King, Kevin O’Connell, Gary A. Rizzo
•  The Vast of Night – Erik Duemig, Johnny Marshall, David Rosenblad

Winner:  Josep – Aurel
RU:  The Wolf House – Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León
•  Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary – Rémi Chayé
•  Circumstantial Pleasures – Lewis Klahr
•  Soul – Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
•  Wolfwalkers – Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart

Winner:  The Year of the Discovery – Luis López Carrasco
RU:  The Metamorphosis of Birds – Catarina Vasconcelos
•  City Hall – Frederick Wiseman
•  Collective – Alexander Nanau
•  My Mexican Bretzel – Nuria Giménez
•  Time – Garrett Bradley

Winner:  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains – Gu Xiaogang
RU:  Identifying Features – Fernanda Valadez
•  Residue – Merawi Gerima
•  Sole – Carlo Sironi
•  Swallow – Carlo Mirabella-Davis
•  The Vast of Night – Andrew Patterson