Chinese director Jia Zhangke has announced that that he is launching a film festival in the northern city of Pingyao, in his home province of Shanxi.
Jia will serve as the artistic director of the Pingyao International Film Festival, set to run from October 19th to the 26th. At a press conference held in Beijing on March 16th, Jia says that the festival will bridge the Chinese film industry with other emerging film industries around the world. He also says that the festival will stand out apart from other film festivals in the country as a Chinese equivalent of the Sundance Film Festival.
Marco Müller, formerly the artistic director of Venice, Locarno, Rome, Beijing and the Silk Road Film Festivals, will serve as the artistic director of the PIFF. He is leading a team of consultants from around the world to form a line-up of about 40-plus films. Most films will be Asian or Chinese premieres.
Müller recently served as the artistic director of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao, but left the post before the inaugural edition began.
The line-up will be made up of two sections: The “Crouching Tiger” section will be the competition section for new directors, while the “Hidden Dragon” section will be devoted to genre films.
A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, Pingyao Ancient City draws about 10 million visits per year. The PIFF will be held in the Culture and Art District of the city.