Films and professionals flock to the 21st Shanghai Film Festival
by David González
- European films to feature in all three strands of the Chinese festival’s main competition this year
The Shanghai Film Festival kicked off this Saturday 16 June and is set to play host to filmmakers from all corners of the globe until 25 June.
Once again, European cinema has a strong presence at this ever-growing gathering, the most popular international film festival in China. In fact, the festival's main competition, the Golden Goblet Awards, is welcoming European titles in all three of its categories: Fiction Feature, Documentary and Animation.
The Fiction Feature competition will present the new film by German filmmaker Florian Gallenberger, As Green As It Gets [+see also:
film profile], which follows a grumpy and hard done by gardener who escapes his old life to explore Germany from an aerial perspective, as well as Carnivores [+see also:
interview: Jérémie and Yannick Renier
film profile], the directorial debut by Belgian actors and brothers Jérémie and Yannick Renier, telling a tale of love and sibling rivalry between two sisters. A Hole in the Head [+see also:
film profile] by Poland’s Piotr Subbotko, will also feature, tracking the adventures of an actor who goes on a tour with a theatre troupe, on and around the Polish-Belarusian border, as will Swiss-Mongolian co-production Out of Paradise [+see also:
film profile], directed by Batbayar Chogsom, a road-trip-style movie focusing on an innocent, nomadic couple and their trouble-filled journey to Mongolia’s capital. Also appearing in this category are The Way to Mandalay [+see also:
film profile] by Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal, a portrait of one of Denmark's greatest musicians, John Mogensen, and Where I've Never Lived [+see also:
film profile] by Italy’s Paolo Franchi, a film about both love and architecture, starring Emmanuelle Devos and Fabrizio Gifuni.
Also included in the competition are Ala Changso by Sonthar Gyal (China), The Cat in their Arms by Isshin Inudou (Japan), Friday's Child by AJ Edwards (USA), Hattrick by Ramtin Lavafipour (Iran), Lost, Found by Lu Yue (China), Tadoussac by Martin Laroche (Canada) and A Translator by Rodrigo & Sebastian Barriuso (Cuba/Canada).
In the Documentary Competition, meanwhile, The Long Season [+see also:
film profile] by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands) will duke it out against Crime + Punishment by Stephen Maing (USA), In My Eyes by Yi Han (China), My Enemy, My Brother by Ann Shin (Canada) and One of Us by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (USA). White Fang [+see also:
film profile] by Alexandre Espigares (France/Luxembourg/US) and Animal Crackers [+see also:
film profile] by Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava and Jaime Maestro (USA/Spain/China/South Korea) will screen in the Animation Competition, alongside Hoffmaniada by Stanislav Sokolov (Russia), Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms by Mari Okada (Japan) and S He by Zhou Shengwei (China).
Chinese actor and filmmaker Jiang Wen will preside over the jury deciding on the winners of the Fiction Feature section, flanked by Hungary’s recent Golden Bear winner Ildikó Enyedi, Turkish director (also a Golden Bear winner) Semih Kaplanoglu, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, Japanese director Naomi Kawase, US producer David Permut and Chinese actress Qin Hailu. Finland’s Pirjo Honkasalo will then chair the Documentary Competition jury, and France’s Jacques-Remy Girerd, the Animation jury.
The festival is also hosting the International Film & TV Market, running 17 - 19 June. The full spectrum of the film production process is covered here, including film financing, production, post-production, SFX, VFX, distribution, marketing, legal services, games, etc., with last year’s edition attracting 251 foreign and domestic exhibitors. As part of the Market, the SIFF Project is selecting and presenting projects to professionals from filmmakers across the world. Their aim is to facilitate Sino-foreign co-productions and to increase support for projects already in production, by providing them with back-end resources such as domestic and international film distribution, film festival opportunities and, last but not least, access to exhibitions.
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