Delayed Shanghai film festival to open amid high anticipation

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 21, 2020
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The official poster of the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival. [Image courtesy of the organizing committee of the SIFF]

Organizers of 2020 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival announced on Friday that the festival will open on July 25, and many film screenings sold out in seconds.

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) was originally scheduled to take place from June 13 to 22 but was postponed due to the pandemic. The festival will run from July 25 to Aug. 2, and the 26th Shanghai TV Festival will take place from Aug. 3 to 7. The events will be the first major international film and TV festivals to be held in China since the COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of the year.

2020 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival will be held offline and online to minimize the pandemic's impact while meeting people's demand for films and TV dramas and promoting the resumption of work and operation in the film and TV industry. 

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival will include theater screening, outdoor screening and online screening, as well as activities, such as the Golden Goblet Forum, International Film and TV Market, "Belt and Road" Film Week, and SIFF PROJECT. 

It seems that the competition section, international jury and Golden Goblet Awards will not happen. Due to the pandemic situation outside China, it is unlikely that overseas guests will be invited. But to continue the spirit of the awards, the Shanghai festival has revealed the 23rd Golden Goblet Award Official Selection to recommend films.

Two Chinese productions have been nominated: "Back to the Wharf" by Li Xiaofeng and "The Reunions" by Da Peng. International films, such as Japan's "One Summer Story" by Shuichi Okita, Italy's "Feel Your Memories" by Cristina Comencini, and Spain's "The Island of Lies" by Paula Cons have also been selected for the recommendation list.

Meanwhile, the 26th Shanghai TV Festival will include activities, such as Magnolia Awards, International TV showcase, Magnolia TV Forum, International Film and TV Market, and Shanghai Internet Summit.

On the evening of July 18, the Shanghai film festival released the schedule for International Film Panorama, which will screen more than 400 films in 29 designated cinemas, including all installments of the "Harry Potter" franchise, "Paprika," 4K restored "Apocalypse Now," and "The Deer Hunter" as well as the most recent films, such as "Doctor Sleep," "Us," "1917," and "It: Chapter Two."

On the morning of July 20, Alibaba Group's Taopiaopiao, the official ticketing platform designated by SIFF, started to presell tickets online. Taopiaopiao's spokesman said they upgraded the ticketing system in case there would be a massive surge in ticket sales online.

According to cinema reopening guidelines issued by the Chinese Film Circulation and Projection Association on Thursday, attendance per show must not exceed 30%, and cinemas are required to sell non-adjacent tickets in every other row. All moviegoers must only make real-name reservations and purchase tickets online. No physical box offices will sell Shanghai film festival tickets offline, and one person can buy four tickets for a film at most.

With fewer cinemas participating in the festival and epidemic prevention and control measures in place, many screenings sold out in seconds on Monday morning. According to Taopiaopiao's data, 107,789 film tickets were sold within 10 minutes of the presale, and after one hour, 128,042 tickets were sold, indicating movie fans' unswerving passion.

Youku, a major video streaming platform owned by Alibaba and exclusively designated by SIFF, will also stream selected films from the festival.

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival will be hosted by China Media Group and Shanghai Municipal People's Government. The 26th Shanghai TV Festival will be hosted by State Administration of Radio and Television, China Media Group and Shanghai Municipal People's Government.

The China Film Administration announced on Thursday that Chinese movie theaters in low-risk areas can resume operations from July 20 following an improvement in the COVID-19 epidemic situation.

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