BRI and Winter Olympic Games to boost Beijing Intl Film Festival
Published: Apr 03, 2023 09:42 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Beijing International Film Festival

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing International Film Festival

The 13th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF), the first international film festival in China to completely return as an in-person event since the optimization of the country's COVID-19 response, is scheduled to be held in the capital's Huairou district from April 22 to 29. 

More than 300 events across nine major sections are set to be held to enrich people's cultural life and boost local economy. Films from countries that have joined the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or about the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are sure to be the highlights of the festival, officials said at a press conference on Monday.

Under the theme of "Sharing Culture, Shared Future," more than 200 guests from China and abroad will attend the film feast and discuss how to tell good Chinese stories through films, said Yu Junsheng, a vice director of the Publicity Department of CPC Beijing Municipal Committee. 

Since Thailand will be the "Guest of Honor of the 13th BJIFF," the head of the Ministry of Culture in Thailand will give a speech via a recorded video during the opening ceremony. A delegation of Thai filmmakers is set to visit Beijing and participate in various BJIFF activities to reinforce in-depth cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. Classic films from Thailand will be screened as part of the Beijing Film Panorama section, according to a BJIFF press release.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the BRI, 10 recent films from member countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mongolia will be screened in the Beijing Film Panorama section, which is set to showcase more than 160 films across various themes and genres at 27 cinemas in Beijing.

During the closing ceremony on April 29, the winners of the Tiantan Awards, the most significant and eye-catching awards at the festival, will be revealed to manifest the ideals and beliefs of filmmakers at home and abroad. 

According to the press release, a total of 1,488 entries from 93 countries and regions are competing for the Tiantan Awards, setting a new record for the number of participants. Veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou will be the president of the jury, which will select 10 films from 15 finalists for the awards including Adiós Buenos Aires (Germany/Argentine), Ciao (China), Driving Madeleine (France), Scrapper (UK) and To Catch A Killer (US).

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games will further enrich the festival. The official film of the Beijing 2022, directed by Lu Chuan under the supervision of Zhang, will serve as the opening film of the BJIFF. 

Making use of the superior resources and influence of the BJIFF, the 19th Beijing International Sports Film Week will keep the Olympic flame burning by offering various amazing events and activities at the festival focusing on sports. 

Sub-venues will be established at the Chongli Olympic Park and National Ski Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province to convey the "wealth" and spirit of the Games.

An exhibition area for sports derivatives will also be set up at the Beijing Film Market, along with the Sports Film Project Support Fund in the Project Pitches section of BJIFF, noted the release.