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Chinese Film Festival Says 'No' to US Blockbusters

No Hollywood film has been selected into the 17 candidate films for the Seventh International Film Festival Shanghai, according to the list of the candidates that was released in Beijing on Saturday.

The annual event will be held from June 5 to 13 in Shanghai. One of its eight planned events will be a competition of international films for the Jinjue Prize.

Of the 17 candidates, two are Chinese films, while others are from South Korea, Japan and European countries. No Hollywood films are included in the candidate list.

According to the organizer, some Hollywood flicks had been submitted. But they were either unfinished or had also been sent to other international festivals and that was why they were not selected, the organizer said.

Chen Xiaomeng, vice secretary general of the festival, said: "We have deliberately sidestepped Hollywood films and shifted our focus to European and Asian films. We'll introduce our audiences to some good films that they don't easily find in the market."

Boo to Hollywood films has been there among some film people around the world for some time. Romuald Karmakar, German director who brought his latest work Nightsong to the Shanghai film festival, said Hollywood happy-ending films are in sharp contrast with a seriously problematic world. He also criticized Hollywood's hits as "socially empty."

French director Gerard Krawczyk, director of Fanfan la Tulipe starring Vincent Pere and Penélope Cruz, said that a director could beat Hollywood only when he or she stood by his or her style and national culture.

When interviewed by Time magazine recently, Zhang Yimou, China's most prominent director, said: "I've been in two Oscar ceremonies. When there, I had a deep feeling that it was an American game and had nothing to do with me. It was only about American style and taste. It was there that I suddenly understood why European directors had had such a distaste for Hollywood films and called them sugar-coated poison."

The prominent director urged his Chinese counterparts to develop a critical mind for Hollywood films and work to produce films with their own characters.

(Shenzhen Daily May 13, 2004)

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