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23rd Shanghai International Film Festival kicks off in-person

Updated: Jul 26,2020 06:03 PM    CGTN

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), the first large-scale cinematic event held in-person in China since the coronavirus outbreak, kicked off on July 25.

The delayed event opened with the China Film Industry Summit Forum instead of the starry opening ceremony and red carpet, which had been canceled for safety reasons as the pandemic is still rampaging in some parts of the world.

Yan Xiaoming, vice-president of China Media Group (CMG), announced the opening, and said at the forum that he hoped the influential festival could encourage Chinese filmmakers to tell Chinese stories well and promote the mutual learning of different cultures, especially the mutual learning of cinematic arts between different countries in the internet era.

In discussing how the film industry can better cope with the pandemic's challenges, Chinese director Wen Muye, known for "Dying to Survive", said, "The pandemic has its negative effects, but it also gives us filmmakers an opportunity to slow down and take a step back, to really think about how to create quality content and to reflect social issues."

Meanwhile Edward Cheng, vice-president of Tencent, said at the opening forum that: "Even with the ongoing pandemic, we've been systematically pushing forward the projects on hand, whether in filming or post-production stage within the disease control guidelines. We look forward to bringing more quality productions to the public."

This year's SIFF showcases a roster of noteworthy films from around the world and a series of cultural programs using a mixed format of in-person and virtual events.

More than 320 films will be screened at 29 designated cinemas in Shanghai, among which 232 are world, international, Asian or Chinese premieres. The number of moviegoers allowed in each theater hall will be capped at 30 percent of maximum capacity as a preventive measure against coronavirus.

The city's seven business circles and over 30 communities will hold outdoor screenings, while online screenings will be presented on platforms including Miguvideo.

SIFF MasterClass has invited a lineup of well-known film creators from home and abroad, including Jia Zhangke, Hirokazu Koreeda and Denis Villeneuve to share their experiences in making film.

Because of the coronavirus, the Golden Goblet Award ceremony and Asian New Talent Award ceremony have also been canceled, with only nominees announced.

The SIFF will be held from July 25 to August 2, and the Shanghai International TV Festival, traditionally held earlier than the film event, will take place from August 3 to 7.