Film festival opens Pandora's box of screen gems
The weeklong Shanghai International Film Festival will open on June 16 with a star-studded red carpet and the much-anticipated thriller “Animal World” by Chinese filmmaker Han Yan.
His newest film, a loose adaptation of Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s manga “Ultimate Survivors,” is one of about 500 films — selected out of 3,447 entries — from around the world to be screened this year. Some of the movies will be vying for the coveted Golden Goblet Awards.
Among the films to be screened in the “Film Panorama” category are the Japanese suspense movie “Laplace’s Witch,” based on a novel by Higashino Keigo; French filmmaker Agnes Varda's new documentary “Visages Villages;” Palme d'Or-winning Japanese film “Shoplifters,” restored 4K versions of the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Rebecca” and the 1967 hit comedy “The Graduate;” the nature documentary “Chasing Coral;” Ingmar Bergman's psychological 1968 thriller “Hour of the Wolf” and works from the late Chinese film master Xie Jin.
Tickets for the festival were snapped up quickly when they went on sale on June 9. Some performances have already been sold out.
Domestic filmmaker and actor Jiang Wen will serve as jury president for the Golden Goblet Awards, while Hong Kong film producer Nansun Shi will chair the panel for the festival's Asian New Talent Awards.
At the conclusion of the festival, the Golden Goblet winners will start screening in local theaters.
“Film Panorama” will offer about 500 movies from around the world in 45 cinemas, including the Shanghai Film Art Center, Peace Cinema and Yonghua Cinema.
The number of entries this year is over a third more than those entered last year, reflecting the growing stature of the Shanghai event.
For the first time, organizers from some 30 film festivals in Belt and Road countries will be participating as a group. Belt and Road Week will screen movies from the Cairo International Film Festival, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Malaysia International Film Festival.
It’s all part of cultural exchanges between China and countries included in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is forging modern commerce links along ancient trade routes.
Also for the first time, the festival will collaborate with Migu Video to exhibit 20 foreign movies online.
Public screenings will be held at local colleges and in residential communities.
The festival includes an array of public forums to explore topics such as film production, distribution and audience analysis.
Young filmmakers will also have an opportunity to learn about scriptwriting, production and marketing from professionals in master classes.