Celebrities attend film festival
A number of new movies are debuting at the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival which opened over the weekend.
Among them are “Shanghai Fortress,” “The Climbers” and “SkyFire.”
A total of 3,964 films from 112 countries have registered for the festival, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, an important theme.
Directed by Teng Huatao, “Shanghai Fortress” is expected to follow the success of “The Wandering Earth” earlier this year.
Based on a novel by Jiang Nan and starring Lu Han and Shu Qi, “Shanghai Fortress” tells the of mankind’s joint efforts to fight alien invaders, set in the city of Shanghai.
“The Climbers” is about the first Chinese mountaineers to conquer the world’s highest peak, Mount Qomolangma. It will hit cinemas across China on September 30. Many of its scenes were shot on locations on Qomolangma.
The film stars Wu Jing, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan and Hu Ge.
Li Shaohong showed up with her latest offering “Liberation,” a tribute to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The war epic revolves around a group of ordinary people who witness the liberation of Tianjin in 1949.
From a unique perspective, the film explores humanity, human relationships and the destiny of ordinary people in wartime. Architecture of old Tianjin was recreated for the shooting.
The crew of big-budget disaster movie “SkyFire,” featuring a volcanic eruption, showed up to promote the film which features around 2,300 special effects shots.
Explosives used in shooting the explosion scenes had a total weight of more than 500 kilograms.
On Sunday, the juries for Golden Goblet Awards met the press. The winning films will be screened on June 24.
“The history of visual art and animation in China is strong,” said Tomm Moore, president of the animation jury. “Chinese animations reflect the nation’s culture; they don’t try to copy American or Japanese styles. I am seeing more original Chinese productions and it is exciting to see how culture can be seen from the films.”
“China is one of the few nations that cinema is really alive, still,” said Rajkumar Hirani, film director and screenwriter from India. “I couldn’t believe that sometimes my films do better here than in India. The Chinese people really love their cinema and film.”
To Nuri Bilge Ceylan, jury president for Golden Goblet Awards’ feature competition, a film festival is very important for a city. Without Istanbul’s film festival, Ceylan would not have become a filmmaker.
Despite a growing box office, Ren Zhonglun, chairman of Shanghai Film Group, emphasized the importance of quality over quantity.
In 2018, box office in China reached 60.9 billion yuan (US$8.8 billion), making the country the second-biggest movie market.
Jiang Ping, general manager of the China Film Group, said the industry has reached a new high and the next few years are predicted to be revolutionary.
Edward Cheng, vice president of Tencent, said it is the perfect time for the industry to build a strong foundation and nurture young talent.
Filmmakers want to inspire people’s lives and make films with a distinct Chinese cultural undertone.
With an initial investment of 1 billion yuan, the Shanghai Film Fund was also set up during the film fest to incubate promising film projects and boost the city's film industry.