SIFF program uncovers new film talent
The Shanghai International Film Festival recently launched the second season of the SIFF YOUNG X project, which aims to nurture young film professionals in the city.
The project discovers, gathers and promotes the best and brightest young film talent, who can help Shanghai become a global powerhouse for film and television creation and production.
The initiative will also produce a number of high-quality Shanghai-produced films that reflect the spirit of the times, promote mainstream values, convey Chinese stories, and push the boundaries of cinematic aesthetics.
This year's project will connect the step-by-step method for developing new talent with industrial resources. The area of support will be expanded beyond directors to include producers and screenwriters to further deepen SIFF's cultivation system for emerging filmmakers and create a synergy effect with Shanghai's film and television industry support programs.
Established in 1993, SIFF is China's only A-category international film festival. It has long been concerned about the development and progress of young filmmakers and has explored long-term support mechanisms.
Last year, five outstanding young Chinese filmmakers, Han Shuai, Liang Ming, Rao Xiaozhi, Wang Jing and Zeng Guoxiang were shortlisted for the first session of the project. They were recommended by professional film institutions and individuals. After preliminary and final selections by the judges, the list of filmmakers was determined. The five young filmmakers showed up at last year's SIFF.
The project and a number of policies are among measures to support the film and television industry in Shanghai. The project also won the support of the European film market to provide selected young filmmakers with high-quality industry resources.
Officials from SIFF noted that this year, the project will attract more partners such as districts and counties, film and television institutions, and universities on the basis of the city-level support policies of Shanghai to provide diverse and comprehensive aid.
During the non-festival period, SIFF will also cooperate with major overseas film festivals and exhibitions through mechanisms such as the Belt and Road Film Tour and SIFF World Express to help the selected filmmakers access overseas high-quality resources and platforms, promote substantive exchanges between young Chinese filmmakers and overseas markets, and tell Chinese stories to the world.
The SIFF YOUNG X has also been given substantial policy backing by the Shanghai Film Bureau. The Shanghai Cultural Development Foundation added a special grant to the film creation project last year to help great young filmmakers in Shanghai develop projects. Filming and production will be prioritized for projects with creators chosen by SIFF YOUNG X.
Rao's new film "The Interpreter" has already received this support. The movie will begin filming next month.
The film is centered on the experiences of the Chinese interpreters in negotiating with the kidnappers and assisting with overseas evacuation. It provides an insight into the mission and responsibilities of China's diplomatic staff.
Rao, a graduate of the Central Academy of Drama, demonstrated his directorial abilities in comedies such as "A Cool Fish" and "Endgame," as well as the suspense feature "Summer Detective."
"The Interpreter" is Rao's fourth directorial movie.
After years of hard work, SIFF has built a complete talent support and cultivation system for the younger generation. The Golden Goblet Awards for Short Films, the SIFF Project, and SIFF Next are just a few of the activities that have been held to pique the interest of young filmmakers.
At the film workshops, young filmmakers had numerous opportunities to engage in in-depth discussions with industry professionals about scriptwriting, project development and audio-visual design. With the assistance of SIFF, their original works were also introduced to the industry, and they received critical guidance on industrial cooperation and funding techniques.