Shanghai Film Fest kicks off with Jean-Jacques Annaud as jury chair
LOS ANGELES, June 18 – At the weekend’s opening of the 15th annual Shanghai International Film Festival, running through June 24, the red carpet saw a parade of international stars before the screenings of more than 400 films in 20 venues and juried competitions led by French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud (Black Gold).
Comic kung-fu actor Jackie Chan was present along with jurist and actress Heather Graham (The Hangover), Aaron Eckhart (Battle Los Angeles), Dutch actress Famke Janssen, Korea’s Ahn Chil-Hyun, Taiwan’s Lin Chi-ling and China’s Tony Leung.
Hong Kong action star Chow Yun-fat (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) received the Outstanding Chinese Film Achievement Award.
Film producer Mike Medavoy (Black Swan, Shutter Island), who was born and grew up in Shanghai, was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award. He is developing a film and television version of The Cursed Piano, with Shanghai Film Group, about a four-decade love story between a European immigrant pianist and his Chinese lover.
Chinese supernatural fantasy film Painted Skin: The Resurrection opened the festival. Hollywood fare included Dark Shadows, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, and The Descendants. Francois Truffaut’s classics Jules and Jim and The 400 Blows are also in the programme.
The films in competition will vie for the Golden Goblet and the Asian New Talent awards, with films from China, India, Russia, Finland and more.
On June 17, Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang unveiled the trailer for his film Remembering 1942, now titled 1942, starring Oscar winning American actors Adrien Brody, who plays a journalist, and Tim Robbins, who portrays a Catholic priest.
The epic drama tells the true story, adapted from the best-selling 1993 novel by Chinese author Liu Zhengyun, about the famine in China that took three million lives and turned 30 million into refugees. The film also stars China’s Xu Fan (Aftershock) and Zhang Hanyu (Assembly), regulars from Feng films. It is scheduled for release in late 2012.
Filmmaking is booming in China with ticket sales increasing 30 per cent in 2001 to US$2.1 billion (RM6.63 billion), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film market takes place June 18-20. – AFP