Shanghai International Film Festival opens on Saturday after COVID-19 delay

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/25 20:17:26

Workers put up posters for the festival at the Grand Theatre on July 19, one of the oldest cinemas in China, initially established in 1928. 

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) kicked off on Saturday at a hotel in Shanghai with a simple ceremony, after a delay due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Activities such as the traditional Golden Goblet Awards and the star-studded red carpet were cancelled this year to prevent coronavirus transmission. Ratings on the Golden Goblet Awards and the Asian New Talent Awards were also cancelled.

Despite the smaller scale this year, the event will feature both online and offline activities attended by domestic and overseas participants, according to a statement letter sent by the SIFF.

How to restore confidence in the development of the film and television industry hit hard by COVID-19 and promote work resumption will be two of the most important topics this year at the traditional SIFFORUM, which will feature themed industrial discussions and master classes with online attendance from renowned international filmmakers, according to SIFF.

The International Film and TV Market will be held online this year. Xu Gaoren, a staffer from the marketing department of the SIFF Film Center, told the Global Times that the online form has attracted even more international exhibitors this year due to its convenience.

Over 700 exhibitors from about 70 countries and regions will join the online International Film and TV Market this year, 100 more than that of last year, Xu said, adding that some of them are renowned companies such as Paramount, Sony, Universal Pictures, Shochiku of Japan, BBC and German Films. .

The Belt and Road Film Week will be held as usual, with films from different Belt and Road countries and regions being screened in the city.

In addition to cinema screenings, the event added outdoor screenings and online screenings this year to feast film lovers. More than 320 overseas and domestically made movies will be screened across the city. SIFF said that they are still discussing with movie producers on how to arrange more screenings.

Due to COVID19, cinemas are required to open only 30 percent of their seat capacity at each hall. Luo Jiajie, manager of Shanghai's Tianshan Cinema told the Global Times on Saturday that seats at 10 SIFF screenings at her cinema on Saturday have already been booked out.

The theme of this year's festival poster is "reunion," indicating that film fans will have a reunion with film on the screen after a six-month closure of cinemas.

Luo believes that the SIFF is a symbolic event that will facilitate further and faster resumption of the film industry.


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