Beijing film fest opens with ambition

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 17, 2013
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The 3rd Beijing International Film Festival kicked off at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, April 16, 2013.

The 3rd Beijing International Film Festival opens Tuesday night with ambitions to create a new globally recognized award brand.

The beautiful stage combined with the illuminating performances by artists including international superstar pianist Lang Lang and tenors Dai Yuqiang, Wei Song, and Warren Mok, as well as shadow plays and 3D movie demonstration clips were on display at the opening ceremony at The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, marking a modest opening for the 3rd Beijing International Film Festival.

There were no mega movie stars walking the red carpet, only chairpersons from competing film festivals, Beijing municipal government leaders, Hawk Koch, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and hundreds of reporters among others joined together to enjoy the show in a cold night, while jury members of newly established the Tiantan Award a.k.a. Temple of Heaven Awards, headed by the noted Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov walked on stage to share their vision and wishes for the festival.

Organizers promised to put on a big show at the end of the festival and award ceremony on April 23, and will invite big stars such as Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves and Zhang Ziyi to walk the red carpet.

"Beauty in Variety; Harmony in Diversity" is the core value of this year's festival and the award, which can also be literally translated as "Unity of Human and Nature and Shared Aesthetics of the Globe," according to the festival's press release. It epitomizes the tenet of Beijing International Film Festival "Sharing resources, realizing mutually beneficial outcomes in the future," said Wang Anshun, the mayor of Beijing at the opening ceremony. He said it also fully expresses the goal of the "Tiantan Award" of promoting exchanges and dialogue between Chinese and global film makers, and demonstrates its expectation for harmonious development of world cinema so as to achieve mutual benefits.

The physical awards trophy was also shown on stage at the opening ceremony Tuesday night.

Tiantan Award jurors, including Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov acting as the president; Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival; Ivor Benjamin, chair of the Directors Guild of Great Britain; Geoff Brown, a well-known Australian film producer; Gu Changwei, a noted Chinese cinematographer and director; Je-gyu Kang, a famous Korean director; and Zhang Yibai, a renowned Chinese director, will determine the recipients of the ten awards.

A total of 531 films from 56 countries have been submitted since last September, and 15 films were shortlisted to compete for the awards. There are two Chinese films nominated: "Back to 1942" by Feng Xiaogang, and "Feng Shui" by Wang Jing.

Others include: "Great Expectations" by Mike Newell (UK); "Gone Fishing" by Carlos Sorin (Argentina); "Home for the Weekend" by Hans Christian Schmid (Germany); "If Only Everyone" by Nataliya Belyauskene (Armenia); "Inch' Allah" by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette (France); "Lore" by Cate Shortland (Australia); "Maddened by His Absence" by Sandrine Bonnaire (France); "Manslaughter" by Pieter Kuijpers (Netherlands); "My German Friend" by Jeanine Meerapfel (Germany); "Modest Reception" by Mani Haghighi (Iran); "Song for Marion" by Paul Andrew Williams (UK); "The Fantastic World of Juan Orol" by Sebastian del Amo (Mexico); "What the Day Owes the Night" by Alexandre Arcady (France).

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