Chinese film Uncle Victory wins at Shanghai film fest despite sex scandal

Shanghai - A public screening of the Chinese movie The Uncle Victory was cancelled at this month's Shanghai International Film Festival, after it emerged that its star Huang Haibo had been arrested for hiring a prostitute.

Despite the sex scandal, the drama directed by Zhang Meng and co-starring Zhang Xinyi came in second on Sunday, and was given the Jury Grand Prize by the panel led by actress Gong Li, said NetEase website.

The Greek romance Little England won the biggest haul of awards, including the first prize, the Golden Goblet for best film. The movie, about two sisters in love with the same seaman, had two other wins: best director for Pantelis Voulgaris and best actress for Pinelopi Tsilika.

Huang, the 37-year-old star of the 2013 hit television show We Get Married, was arrested on May 15 and detained for 15 days. He has since been sent to another facility for six months of re-education. He had been tipped to win best actor for his role as a gangster who emerges from prison and tries to start a new life by running a kindergarten.

But the prize went to Vithaya Pansringarm for the Thai biopic The Last Executioner, in which he stars as rock guitarist-turned-executioner Chavoret Jaruboon. Accepting his award, he said his son had told him to go home with xiaolongbao or little basket dumplings, but he believed his trophy would be a better gift, reported NetEase.

After Huang's arrest, the jury was shown his movie in private and did not answer questions about it at a press conference. But in the citation for the film, the jury described it as "fearless", and showing "a young director's spirit of exploration and ambition", said NetEase. Previously, Zhang Meng drew critical attention with his 2010 dramedy The Piano In A Factory.

The festival closed on Sunday with the American blockbuster Transformers: Age Of Extinction. Its stars, including Mark Wahlberg and Li Bingbing, hit the red carpet with celebrities including Natalie Portman and Nick Cheung.

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