By B.Tungalag and Margaux Maxwell
Los Angeles isn’t the only place the red carpet gets rolled out.
The Mongolian National Film Academy held its fourth annual Academy Awards at the luxurious Mongol Shiltgeen on Friday, June 13, celebrating the industry’s foremost artists.
The ceremony featured performances by national celebrities Chimedtseye and Mongolian diva Sarantuya, traditional folk dancing, and a morin khuur (horse fiddle) concert.
Special guest Olympic boxing champion Badar-Uugan was also present. Winners of the awards received a gold statue with the Soyombo symbol.
The films eligible to compete in this year’s awards were produced and screened in Mongolia from June 1, 2013 to June 8, 2014.
The nominations included: “Zerleg Tsetsegsiin Khulemj” (Garden of Savage Flowers), “Urgeeleg”, “Hyazgaargui” (Limitless), “Laridma”, “Shargadaaga” (Yellow Colt), “The Call”, “Symphony of Death”, “Hoyulaa Untakhuu?” (Let’s Make Love?), “Tal Nutgiin Byatshan Egch Duus” (Little Sisters of the Steppe), “Luivar” (Fraud), “Ukhel Amidraliin Zaagt” (Space Between Life and Death), and “Khungiin Suulchin Duu” (The Swan’s Last Song).
An additional seven documentary films competed in the documentary film category and five short films competed in the short film category.
Notably, Inner Mongolian actress S.Soyiktsetseg was awarded a certificate of honor for her work in “Tal Nutgiin Byatshan Egch Duus”.
The Mongolian National Film Academy was founded in 2008 by B.Tsogtbayar, aiming to “select the industry’s best artists, introduce newly screened works and to register movies, documentary films and short films in the Mongolian film archive.” Its Academy Awards, modeled after the American Oscars, is one of many events trying to further the film industry in Mongolia, which is struggling to compete globally.
Prior to the transition to a free market economy in 1990, Mongolia’s filmmaking was controlled by Mongol Kino, a national film studio used to make Soviet propaganda films. This means that emphasis was not placed on artistic quality, but rather ideological promotion. The industry has shifted dramatically over the past 20 years, but the focus on movie making as a source of income as opposed to an artistic endeavor remains.
Still Mongolian cinema has made some headway in the international community. Mongolian film “Remote Control”, following a young man’s fascination with a woman living in a tower block across the street, won the 18th Busan International Film Festival and has received much international acclaim.
Submissions for the Mongolian International Film Festival began on June 06, 2014 and will be held in Aukland, New Zealand and Los Angeles, California on October 24 and November 15-16, respectively.
This year’s Academy Awards awarded artists and film makers in following categories:
Grand Prix - “Urgeeleg”
Best male protagonist - Cultural Merit Worker actor B.Amarsaikhan through “Urgeeleg”
Best supporting actor – Cultural Merit Worker actor S.Bold-Erdene through “Urgeeleg”
Best female protagonist – State Honored Artist U.Uranchimeg through “Garden of Savage Flowers”
Best supporting actress - A.Ganchimeg through “Garden of Savage Flowers”
Best director - J.Sengedorj through “Urgeeleg”
Best visual artist – Ts.Enkhtsogt through “Fraud”
Best art director – Sh.Tegshbayar through “Limitless”
Best music - Music for “Urgeeleg” by Cultural Merit Worker and composer B.Odbayar
Best soundtrack – Soundtrack for “The Swan’s Last Song” by T.Ariunaa
Best montage - “Fraud” by E.Enkhtulga
Best sound engineer - S.Nergui through “Urgeeleg”
Best writer – O.Sundui through “Yellow Colt”
Best make-up – “Laridma” by make-up artist B.Shurenchimeg
Best documentary film – “Will” by Tsegts Production
Best producer - Altai Construction LLC
Best short film – “Step” by B.Chinguun
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