Shanghai Film Festival Sets Out China-Centric Agenda

Returning as an in-person event after cancelation last year, the Shanghai International Film Festival has set out an agenda with a clear focus on China.

The festival (June 9-16) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s economic outreach and development program. With a series of press conferences and film culture roundtables, the SIFF’s Belt and Road Film Week will “bring together old friends of the alliance from previous years and new friends made this year [..] and announce an action plan for the future.”

The festival’s most prestigious section, the Golden Goblet Awards will operate in five parts: main competition, Asian new talent, documentary features, animated features and short films. The jury for the competition section is to be headed by Poland’s Jerzy Skolimowski, accompanied by India’s Nandita Das, Indonesia’s Garin Nugroho, German cinematographer Lutz Reitemeier, China’s Song Jia, Vivian Qu and Zhang Lu (“The Shdowless Tower”).

The festival’s international film panorama will stretch across 16 categories. Organizers named three of them: Chinese Art Cinema, showcasing Chinese language films of the last decade; Making Waves, showcase films by the next-generation filmmakers from Hong Kong; and Global Village, a section celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Spain.

Organizers also announced a tribute to the Tibetan director Pema Tseden, who died last week.

Titles selected for the festival will not be announced until May 31.

The festival’s conference program, “SIFFORUM will bring together Chinese and foreign guests to address the subjects of how to seek new opportunities and explore diverse topics during the new journey of China’s film industry, how to drive technological innovation, and how to enhance high-quality international cooperation.”

This year’s China Movie & TV Night will create an award called “China Movie & TV Night · CMG Recommendation of the Year,” to encourage people in China’s film and TV industry to build a credible, lovely, and respectable image for China by creating vivid film and TV characters.

The Shanghai TV Festival, operating the following week, will also showcase the Belt and Road Initiative, letting each BRI country air TV programs from other BRI countries. The TV Market “will promote Chinese stories to overseas viewers, bringing together various TV companies to tell Chinese stories through TV programs and innovatively drive international communication.” The TV conference program “will bring together a panel of Chinese and foreign guests to elaborate on the new trends, new channels, and new models of telling Chinese stories across media platforms.”

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