LIFE / CULTURE
Beijing International Film Festival comes to end, while Chinese film industry on the road to recovery
Published: Aug 21, 2022 08:04 PM
The Power Forum at the Beijing International Film Festival Photos: IC and VCG  Malcolm Clarke  Liu Haoran  Chen Jianying

The Power Forum at the Beijing International Film Festival Photos: IC and VCG Malcolm Clarke Liu Haoran Chen Jianying

Editor's Note:  

The curtain fell on the 12th Beijing International Film Festival on Saturday. During the one-week film feast, movies from a diverse group of countries were screened for Chinese audiences, igniting their enthusiasm for film. Meanwhile, many experienced and well-known filmmakers from China and abroad gathered in Beijing to select winners of the Tiantan Awards and also discuss the future of the film industry in China and the world as the Chinese film market steps on the road to recovery.

The Global Times talked with three of these filmmakers, who represent different groups within the industry, to see what they had to say about the state of the film industry.

A total of 1,450 movies from all around the world applied to compete in the film festival. Of them, 16 works made them into the final round. 

The 82-minute-long The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic from Finland bagged Best Feature Film. The film was the biggest winner of the night as it also bagged Best Actor for Petri Poikolainen.

The Best Director Award was given to French director Fabien Gorgeart for The Family, while Chinese movie Song of Spring, about an 85-year-old mother (played by Wu Yanshu) and a 65-year-old daughter (played by Xi Meijuan) living together, helped Wu win the award for Best Actress.

Film industry insiders said that the winners of the Tiantan Awards highlight the cultural diversity at the film festival. 

The 2022 film festival invited seven jury members from around the world to judge thousands of selected movies, including 1,193 works from other regions. The number is a new record in the history of the film festival.

The event offered a feast of diverse movies to Chinese audiences during a time when the box office in China is on the mend. The box office of the summer period has surpassed 8 billion yuan ($1.17 billion), according to data from ticketing site Maoyan.

There are still a number of films waiting for release or have just launched in cinemas, including the animated fantasy movie New Gods: Yang Jian that debuted on Friday. 

The film brings the mythology of China to the big screen. It has earned more than 100 million yuan in its first two days and currently has a 7.1/10 on media review platform Douban.

The Power Forum at the Beijing International Film Festival Photos: IC and VCG  Malcolm Clarke  Liu Haoran  Chen Jianying

Chen Jianying

Chen Jianying: Young creators need a platform to communicate with industry veterans

Chinese director Chen Jianying, 27, won the Golden Palm Award for Short Film The Water Murmurs at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in May 2022.

Chen said that she hopes that in the future, the Beijing International Film Festival can allow people to see more films and provide more opportunities for young Chinese creators.

"I really had a lot of help from older people on my way up, so I think it is really important for young creators to have a platform where they can talk to veterans in the industry," the director noted.

The Power Forum at the Beijing International Film Festival Photos: IC and VCG  Malcolm Clarke  Liu Haoran  Chen Jianying

Liu Haoran

Liu Haoran: Learning at the Beijing International Film Festival

Young Chinese actor Liu Haoran has appeared in several major blockbusters including 2017's The Founding of an Army and My People, My Country.

Liu said that he had previously enjoyed the film festival as an audience member and movie fan, while this time is different since he is attending the film festival with the goal of learning more about the industry. 

"There are many experienced performers and directors here, and I want to talk in depth with them to learn more about film."

The Power Forum at the Beijing International Film Festival Photos: IC and VCG  Malcolm Clarke  Liu Haoran  Chen Jianying

Malcolm Clarke

Malcolm Clarke: I'm a great admirer of contemporary Chinese films

Oscar-winning UK filmmaker Malcolm Clarke is one of the jury committee members of the Tiantan Awards. Clarke told the Global Times that the movies at the festival were extremely good and very diverse as they came from around the world. 

"So I was happy here because I am a film buff," the director noted.

"There are some very good Chinese films this year. If I may just add one little detail, I think it's important for people abroad to know this."