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Shanghai International Film Festival Opens
From today, Shanghai residents will be treated to a visual feast with over 500 local and foreign films being screened at the 8th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF).

The festival runs from today until June 19.

Established in 1993, the SIFF was ratified by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, and is a FIAPF-accredited competitive international film festival (FIAPF is the International Federation of Film Producers Associations). 

Primary activities include the Jin Jue Awards competition, International Film Panorama for non-competition films, International Film & TV Market and an International Film Forum.

In addition, there is the Asian New Talent Award that was started in 2004 to support Asia's bright young filmmakers.

To commemorate the centenary of China's film industry, a Chinese New Films Exhibition will be held during the festival. The exhibition will showcase more than 40 of China's finest movies. Other commemorative events include a posters exhibition and classical films screening.

The Jin Jue Awards consist of eight categories: Best Feature Film, Jury Grand Prix, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Music. Winners will be announced on closing night on the June 19. Among the 17 films competing for the Best Film Award are two Chinese movies: black comedy Gimme Kudos by Huang Jianxin, and romance flick A Time to Love by Huo Jianqi.

Sixty-six-year-old director Wu Tianming assumes the chair of this year's 7-member judging committee for the Jin Jue Awards, which also includes Jiang Wenli (Chinese actress), Kang Je-gyu (Korean writer/director), Lisa Lu (American-Chinese actress/producer), Marc Rothemund (German director), Regins Wargnier (French director) and Imanol Uribe (Spanish director).

Jia Zhangke, one of China's new-generation filmmaking stars, has been appointed as the chair of the judging panel for the Asian New Talent Award. Jia bagged the Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography prizes at the Las Palmas International Film Festival in Spain in March with his film The World.

Heavyweights Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige also promised to attend the festival despite their busy work schedules. Zhang is currently working on Qian Li Zou Dan Ji, and Chen on The Promise. Other big names expected to attend the glitzy affair include director Feng Xiaogang, Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, American actor Brendan Fraser of The Mummy Returns, and Volker Schlöndorff, director of the classic film Tin Drum.

Competition films at the 8th Shanghai International Film Festival:

The Village Album (Japan, Mitsuhiro Mihara )
Future Beach (Germany, Peter Lichtefeld )

Young Andersen (Denmark, Rumle Hammerich )

Just Friends (France, Eric Toledano/Olivier Nakache)
A Time Far Past (Vietnam/France, Ho Quang Minh )

Shades of Happiness (Finland, Claes Olsson)
"Garua" (Argentina, Gustavo Corrado)
A Shot in the Dark (Portugal/Brazil, Leonel Vieira)

In My Father's Den (New Zealand, Brad M.Gann)

Gimme Kudos (People's Republic of China, Huang Jianxin)

The Land Has Eyes (United States of America/Fiji, Vilsoni Hereniko)

Looking for Alexander (Canada, Francis Leclerc)

Niagara Motel (Canada, Gary Yates)
Now and Forever (Italy, Vincenzo Verdecchi)
A Time to Love (People's Republic of China, Huo Jianqi)

Runaway Skidding (Russia, Georgy Shengeliya)

The Father (France, Maurice Barthelemy)

(China.org.cn by Li Xiao, June 11, 2005)

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