The 20th Shanghai TV Festival (STVF) and the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) are being held back-to-back this month. Having started Monday, this year's STVF will last until Friday, while SIFF will follow from Saturday to June 22.
A scene from Godfather Part II Photos: Courtesy of STVF and SIFF
(From above) Actors Hugh Grant, Hayden Christensen, Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman will appear on the red carpet at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival.
Over 1,000 television programs from more than 50 countries and regions entered this year's STVF to compete for the festival's international television program accolade, the Magnolia Award. Only 53 of these were selected to come to the festival and compete. They are divided into four categories, with 10 TV series, 10 TV films & miniseries, 21 documentaries and 12 animations. They will compete for 19 prizes under the four categories.
BBC's 2013 television suspense miniseries Top of the Lake, German documentary about neo-Nazism The Aryans and Chinese animated film Cribug (Kuiba) are top contenders for the prizes in their respective categories.
This year's judging panel consists of 16 judges both from China and foreign countries.
Chinese mainland director Guo Baochang will preside over the jury in the sections of TV films & miniseries, and also TV series. As a Chinese television director, Guo has directed more than 30 TV series and several movies.
Canadian documentary filmmaker Chris McDonald will be the jury president in the documentary category, while veteran South Korean animation director Nelson Shin will lead the panel for the animation category.
TV forums and shows
Another highlight of STVF is its forums, which gather together leading experts to discuss hot issues in the international TV industry.
This year's forums will be held in Shanghai Exhibition Center from Tuesday to Thursday. The topics to be discussed include the development of original Chinese TV programs, the development of entertainment shows in China, the growth of the Internet TV industry, and the internationalized industrial chain of Chinese documentaries.
The guests at these forums will include Wang Liping, the famous Shanghai-based Chinese television series writer, and Jin Cho-hyo and Kam Do-kyung, two famous directors from Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).
During the festival, some 80 television shows from home and abroad will also be screened on local free TV channels, like the Television Series Channel, the International Channel Shanghai and Xuandong Cartoon.
For details of the 20th STVF, visit www.stvf.com/InformationEn.
According to Fu Wenxia, the current executive vice president of SIFF, this year, 1,099 entries were received from all over the world to compete in SIFF's two standing award competitions, the Golden Goblet Award and the Asian New Talent Award. Fu said that the number of entrants this year was a record high.
Included in the 15 finalists for the Golden Goblet Award are German director Volker Schlöndorff's Diplomatie; Japanese avant-garde director Masayuki Suo's Maiko wa Lady; and two Chinese films The Uncle Victory directed by Zhang Meng and The Sacred Arrow directed by Pema Tseden.
The nine candidates for this year's Asian New Talent Award consist of films by young directors from China, Iran, Japan, South Korea and India. Among them, Chinese rock star Cui Jian's directorial debut Blue Bones has aroused particular interest among the public.
The jury panel for the 17th SIFF's awards will be led by Chinese actress Gong Li. Other members include British director and scriptwriter Sally Potter, South Korean filmmaker Im Sang-soo, Japanese director Shunji Iwai, Iranian actor Payman Maadi, Danish director Lone Scherfig, and Chinese mainland filmmaker Liu Jie.
According to Fu, more than 400 Chinese and international film celebrities will walk the red carpet at the SIFF's opening ceremony on Saturday and closing ceremony on June 22.
Those attending the opening ceremony will include John Woo, Nicholas Tse, Yao Chen and Liu Yifei, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and two South Korean film and television series stars, Song Seung-heon and Park Shin-hye.
Those attending the closing ceremony will include Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst and the South Korean actress Son Tae-yeong.
Tributes to classics
As well as awards, SIFF will also include nearly 300 film screenings at 35 cinemas across the festival.
This year's screenings are subdivided into several categories, including 4K Restored Classics, SIFF Highlights, Tribute to Masters, Focus China, Touch 3D, IMAX Vision, Global Village, MIDA Documentary, Films for Children, and Short Films Exhibition.
The 2014 Berlin International Film Festival awarded the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize to French avant-garde film director Alain Resnais for his The Life of Riley.
In tribute to Resnais, who died shortly after at the age of 91, SIFF's Tribute to Masters section will screen a number of his works, including The Life of Riley, Last Year at Marienbad, Hiroshima Mon Amour, and My American Uncle.
Also in this section, Chinese director Jiang Wen's early works will also be presented, including Sunny Day, The Sun Also Rises, and Let the Bullets Fly. He will also lead the cast of his upcoming film, Gone with the Bullets, in attending the opening ceremony of the festival.
For the first time this year, SIFF has a special category for the screening of films that have been restored using the 4K process. These include Taxi Driver from 1976, The Godfather Part II from 1974, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Les Misérables from 1935, and Stage Sisters from 1965.
Tickets for the screenings are now on sale from cinemas, as well as online and by phone. Most films have an admission price of 40 yuan ($6) to 60 yuan.
For details of the 17th SIFF, visit www.siff.com/InformationEn.