The Beijing International Film Festival (April 16-23) held its second press conference on April 7th, a day before the beginning of its Beijing Panorama screenings, to announce films for its Tiantan competition and details of the co-production forum. The announcements were made by a panel that included more SAPPRFT bureaucrats than festival organizers.
The festival announced 15 films for its Tiantian competition – 13 foreign films and 2 Chinese films. Chosen from 424 submissions from 59 countries and regions, the selection includes five international premieres and three Asian premieres.
However, tickets for screenings of the competition films have yet to be made available to the public even as Beijing Panorama screenings are already underway.
Led by Bille August, the Tiantan Awards jury members include Hong Kong filmmaker Mabel Cheung, Italian producer Paolo Del Brocco, Chinese actress Jiang Wenli, Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude. American filmmaker Rob Minkoff and French actor Jean Reno.
The panel also announced ten films for the documentary section. The films include Lu Chuan’s Born in China (我們誕生在中國), Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny, Fire at Sea and This is Life (生門). There will also be a special version of Academy Award-nominated The Ivory Game, made especially for the festival. Jacque Behan will lead a jury to decide the section’s five awards.
This year’s forums include one about Sino-foreign co-productions – to be attended by director Chen Kaige, Bollywood star Aamir Khan, director Rob Cohen and Huayi Brother’s Jerry Ye – one on China film distribution attended by executives from companies like Wanda and Edko Films, one about digital cinema technology, one on film development under China’s Belt & Road initiative, as well as a Sino-Italy co-production-themed forum. These events will be held between April 17th and April 22nd.
The festival does not have an opening or closing film this year. However, it will hold its two ceremonies inside a 3000 square meter studio in China Film Group’s production base in what appears to be an effort to show off China’s state-of-the-art filmmaking facilities to its international guests.
Meanwhile, the festival announced it is already seeing record ticket sales this year. It reports that its Hirokazu Kore-eda retrospective, Michelangelo Antonioni retrospective and The Fast & The Furious series screenings were among the most popular.
7th Beijing International Film Festival Tiantan competition films
A Kid (France)
Alma de Sant Pere (Finland)
Coffee (Italy, China, Belgium)
Dim the Fluorescents (Canada)
House of Others (Georgia, Russia, Spain, Croatia)
Kanon (カノン) (Japan)
Mr. No Problem (不成問題的問題) (China)
Night of a Thousand Hours (Luxembourg, Austria, Holland)
Operation Mekong (湄公河行動) (China)
The Death and Life of Otto Bloom (Australia)
The Poisoning Angel (France)
The Sis (Iran)
Tiger Theory (Czech Republic, Slovakia)
Two Lottery Tickets (Romania)