Pros talk about film festivals

Xu Wei
A Belt and Road roundtable talk was held on Tuesday at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival.
Xu Wei

“The Belt and Road Film Culture Roundtable Talk: Film Festivals in Focus” was held on Tuesday at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival.

Festival organizers from all over the world exchanged views on the role festivals play in today’s film industry and the crucial issues affecting the film festival world.

Stefan Laudyn, director of Warsaw Film Festival, said they insist on having fresh films and are always looking for good stories. He believes that there are audiences for all the films. To attract more young people to their festival, they should find the right audiences for the movies and cater for their specific interests.

He suggested Chinese filmmakers tell their own stories and be themselves.

Ilda Santiago, executive director of Festival do Rio, said a big challenge is how to connect people in the city.

“Brazil still has low number of theaters,” Santiago said. “Our work is to help showcase the good pictures and get the stories as images go as far as they can go.”

According to Fu Wenxia, managing director of the Shanghai event, the fest is dedicated to discovering and promoting art movies and nurturing new blood for the film industry.

In spite of competition from online, Fu said the role festivals play in the cinema and film industry is unique.

“We have organized a lot of events to offer opportunities for face-to-face talks with filmmakers and actors.”

Today, quite a few amateur directors including Brillante Mendoza, Jia Zhangke, Emir Kusturica and Cristian Mungiu have founded their own film festivals.

Philippine film director Mendoza, founder of Sinag Maynila Independent Film Festival, said their festival is dedicated to young Philippine filmmakers. Although they don’t have much financial support from the government, the festival is gaining increasing attention.

Cast of the suspense film “Dust to Dust” also hosted a meeting with the press on Tuesday.

The film starring Da Peng and Lam Ka-tung is adapted from a true crime when 15 million yuan (US$2.2 million) was stolen in 1995.

Shooting is underway in Foshan, Guangdong Province. The film is expected to be released next year.

Pros talk about film festivals
Dong Jun / SHINE

Chinese mainland actors Da Peng (left) and Zhang Songwen (center) and Hong Kong actor Sunny Sun star in “Dust to Dust.”

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