The Shanghai International Film Festival has abruptly replaced its opening film just one week before the start of its 20th edition (June 16-26).
Ann Hui’s Our Time Will Come (明月幾時有) was announced as the opening film during a splashy event held in Cannes on May 19th. The war drama was also announced as being included in the festival’s Golden Goblet competition.
On the 9th, the festival suddenly announced a new opening film – Bille August’s The Chinese Widow, starring Liu Yifei and Emile Hirsch – along with the rest of the Golden Goblet competition titles. Our Time Will Come is still part of the Golden Goblet competition, but it’s not known whether the film will have a public screening since the screening schedule has not been released to the public.
The previous announcement on the festival’s official website that included mention of Our Time Will Come as the opening film has been edited, though the announcement remains in the English version. A press release from sales agent Distribution Workshop dated May 19th and other news stories published on that day confirm SIFF’s initial announcement.
In 2014, the festival did not arrange public screenings of competition title Uncle Victory (勝利) after star Huang Haibo was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. The film nevertheless picked up the Jury Grand Prix.
Additional titles in the Golden Goblet competition are Cai Shangjun’s The Conformist (冰之下) – starring Huang Bo, Song Jia and Xiao Shenyang – The Chinese Widow, Paolo Villaluna’s Pauwi Na, Italy’s In the Big and Terrible World (Nel mondo grande e terribile), Bangladesh’s Doob: No Bed of Roses (ডুব) and Iranian film Yellow.
Our Time Will Come is still set for release in China on July 1, in North America on June 30th, and in Hong Kong and Taiwan on July 6th. It is also slated to be screened at the Taipei Film Festival and the New York Asian Film Festival.