Chinese director Wang Bing was awarded the prize at in Switzerland on Sunday

A documentary about a Chinese Alzheimer’s sufferer was awarded the Golden Leopard Prize at the 70th annual Locarno Festival.

Mrs Fang, directed by Wang Bing documents the final days of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s in an impoverished village in South China.

Exploring the impact on her relatives and friends, the documentary was praised for breaking the taboos surrounding mourning and mental lines in China.

Director Wang is regarded as one the pioneers of Chinese documentary making. He has won several international prizes and is known for capturing the struggles of the working-class in China.

Wang said he regarded the award as a “great and deep honour”.

The Xi’an-born filmmaker is the fifth director from Hong Kong or mainland China to have won the top prize at Locarno. Hongqui Li’s Winter Vacation in 2010 and Xiaolu Guo’s She in 2009 both took home the top prize.

Locarno’s Special Jury Prize went to e to Brazil’s Good Manners – Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’ lesbian werewolf filmwhile best director was awarded to veteran filmmaker F.J. Ossang for 9 Fingers.