De Niro--who set up the festival to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York--presented Shaohong with the Founders Award, in recognition of her ambitious film about a female college student who is exploited and abandoned by her lover.
Li says, "I hope now Stolen Life will be green-lighted so that my people in China can watch this film soon."
The star-studded panel named Cees Geel as best actor for his role in Dutch movie Simon, while the best actress went to Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, for her part as a transsexual woman who discovers she fathered a son, in movie comedy Transamerica.
The full list of winners is:
Best Film Award: Stolen Life
The Founder Award: Li Shaohong
Best Documentary Feature: El Perro Negro: Stories From The Spanish Civil War
Best New Documentary Filmmaker: Jeff Zimblast and Matt Mochary, Favela Rising
Best New Narrative Filmmaker: Alicia Scherson, Play
Best New York Documentary: Rikers High
Best Feature Filmed in New York: Red Doors
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