Travel through time and around the world

Xu Wei
The 2019 Shanghai international film and TV festivals will offer a feast of outstanding film and TV productions this month, plus a batch of cultural programs.
Xu Wei
Travel through time and around the world

Director John Ford’s 1939 classic Western movie “Stagecoach”

The 2019 Shanghai international film and TV festivals will offer a feast of outstanding film and TV productions this month, plus a batch of cultural programs. 

The 25th Shanghai TV Festival will be held from June 10 to 14, followed by the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival, from June 15 to 24.

Advanced broadcasting technologies will be showcased at the festival. For the first time, the opening gala on June 15 will be carried in 4K live broadcasting through a 5G network provided by the China Media Group.

Officials from the organizing committee said programs will be presented at the film and TV festivals to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. 

The Shanghai TV Festival will hold a special exhibition of several shows, from video clips to textual introductions of classic Chinese TV dramas, to provide an insight into the development of the Chinese TV industry. 

The Magnolia Awards have always been a core content of the Shanghai TV Festival. This year, a batch of Chinese and foreign TV dramas, documentaries, animations and variety shows will vie for the coveted awards.

On the evening of June 14, the award winners will be announced at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony. 

Outstanding TV productions will also air on local TV channels and public venues in June, among which are the iconic BBC sci-fi drama “Doctor Who: Resolution — 2019 New Year’s Special,” Japanese animation “Cells At Work!” and Italian TV drama “My Brilliant Friend.”

At the same time, celebrated Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan will lead the jury panel for the feature film competition of this year’s Golden Goblet Awards. The awards will also honor excellent productions in the fields of documentary, animation and short film. The Golden Goblet Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of June 23.

SIFF highlight

During the Shanghai International Film Festival, movie buffs will have the chance to see feature films and documentaries from different periods through the Panorama section.

Some classic films will be shown for the public in the squares of the city after 4K conversion.

All these movies reflect the social styles and major historical events of the past 70 years.

Many have unique aesthetic value and offer a distinct memory of the times, such as the founding of People’s Republic of China, the liberation of Shanghai, the birth of the national anthem, the restoration of the college entrance examination, the economic reform and opening-up and the Beijing Olympic Games. 

Over the years, the film festival has welcomed filmmakers from across Asia.

This year among the 3,964 registered films in 112 countries and regions, 1,772 movies are from 39 countries and regions in Asia. 

An unprecedented five sections for Asian countries and regions are planned, including Focus Indonesia, Focus Iran, Focus Thailand, Indian Style and Japanese Film Week. 

Asian filmmakers will have the chance to negotiate with film agencies in China and other countries for co-production and cooperation. 

On the basis of the Asian New Talent Awards, this year’s film fest will continue to cultivate new forces in Asian films and stimulate the vitality of Asian moviemaking.

Over recent decades, the Panorama section has been one of the most popular programs for the movie buffs.

Digitally restored version of the classic Chinese animated film “Uproar in Heaven,” Hou Hsiao-hsien’s drama “Flowers of Shanghai,” and Stanley Kubrick’s epic movie “Spartacus” will be screened.

Italian adventure film “Otzi and the Mystery of Time,” Spanish suspense thriller “H0us3,” Japanese romance film “Marriage Hunting Beauty,” and Indian biographical film ‘Mahanati” will also be screened.

For the first time, this year’s Panorama will set up a category of musical films. Movie buffs will be presented “Moonwalker,” “Amazing Grace,” “A Dog Called Money” and “My Foolish Heart.”

All are presented in memory of outstanding artists and pop stars, including singer-songwriter Michael Jackson, “The Queen of Soul” — Aretha Franklin, musician and singer-songwriter Polly Jean Harvey, and Jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker.

Additionally, the Belt and Road Film Week will continue to be an eye-catching part of the film fest. 

Last year, the Belt and Road Alliance which consisted of 31 film organizations from 29 countries and regions was set up. With the help of this platform, a group of new Chinese films and filmmakers have been invited to various international film festivals of the alliance, while cultural exchanges and film cooperation have been strengthened.

This year 24 new films will be shown in the Belt and Road Film Week, including “Crystal Swan,” “A First Farewell,” “Scandinavian Silence,” “Genesis” and “The Sun Above Me Never Sets.”

Representatives of international film festival institutions will gather in Shanghai to participate in a series of workshops and activities, in names of Film Exchange, Round Table Forum, Cultural Journey and Film Night, to seek possibilities for further cooperation.

During the film fest, celebrities will be invited to give lectures for local enthusiasts.

They include Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Israeli director Nadav Lapid, Spanish actress Rossy De Palma, and Iranian pianist and film composer Peyman Yazdanian.

All have been honored at international film festivals. They will share with audiences their own experience in telling powerful stories, depicting impressive roles on the screen and creating touching film scores.

This year’s SIFF Project, which has discovered many talented young filmmakers and new film projects over the years, will introduce a total of 30 film pitches, selected from 454 candidates.

Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, Chinese mainland producer Shen Yang and Taiwan director Leste Chen will judge the new film projects and select the ones with the best creativity and market potential.

Most shows and films not in English will have English subtitles.

About 500 outstanding domestic and foreign productions in various genres will be screened this year in 47 local theaters, including the Shanghai Film Art Center and Peace Cinema.

Ticket sales will start around June 8. Public screenings will also be arranged for college students in Songjiang District.

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Travel through time and around the world

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s 1998 drama “Flowers of Shanghai”

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