Beijing International Film Festival postponed to mid-August to allow more overseasparticipation
Published: Apr 11, 2021 07:04 PM
Beijing International Film Festival file photo:VCG

Beijing International Film Festival file photo:VCG

The 11th Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) has been postponed from April to August, the festival announced on Saturday.

Chinese film observers say that the organizers postponed the festival, which will be held from August 14 to 21, in order to allow more filmmakers from overseas to attend. 

“Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has become quite common for international film festivals both in China and abroad to see cancelations or delays,” Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times, noting that the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival and Golden Globe Awards were all held online. 

This is not the first time that a BIFF has been delayed. In 2020, the 10th BIFF was postponed from August 22 to August 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the announcement, the invitation for the red carpet ceremony and the registration for the investment exhibition and project venture capital of the 11th BIFF have also been launched. 

According to Xiao, since BIFF is not based on competition or awards but on market exchanges, the participation of international filmmakers has a significant impact on the event. 

“Inviting film creators, researchers and industry personnel from different countries is a common norm for any international film festival including BIFF, so there can be artistic exchanges, technological collisions and capital flow,” Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing and a BIFF judge, told the Global Times.

He added that the function or role of a film festival is industry exchanges, boutique exhibitions and public education, so building a platform for exchanges and discoveries can produce new possibilities and cooperation.

“I think the postponement of the film festival is just to balance the ratio of online and offline activities. No matter whether they are coming to China in person, BIFF surely will include some foreign film experts, just like the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF),” Shi said.

The 24th SIFFF will be held from June 11 to 20 and combine both online and offline modes. A total of eight 4k restorations will be released at the festival, including Chinese films Rouge and Center Stage, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part III, French films Hell and Story of Women, South Korean film Peppermint Candy, and Japanese films Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and Rickshaw Man. The festival’s guest list has not yet been announced, according to the official website of SIFF.