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Thread: Shanghai International Film Festival

  1. #1
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    Siff 2009

    The 12TH SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is 6/13-21. Couldn't find a film listing, but then I didn't look that hard...
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    More on SIFF

    2000 films?!? No wonder I couldn't find a listing...
    Shanghai International Film Festival Kicks Off
    2009-06-13 17:56:11 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Ma Ting

    Cinema lovers in China will celebrate their own festival this month with hundreds of celebrities from home and abroad, as the Shanghai International Film Festival kicked off Saturday night.

    CRI reporter Shuang Feng takes you for an up and close encounter with one of the world's most vibrating film fetivals.

    Reporter:

    "-Hi, I'm Halle Berry.

    -Nihao, I'm Danny Boyle, director of "Slumdog Millionaire."

    -Hi, this is Annie MacDowell. This time I'm going to be on the jury, so I'm really looking forward to that."

    What brought these most-sought-after celebrities together is not the Berlin or Cannes film festivals, but the Shanghai International Film Festival, or SIFF. Starting from Saturday, Chinese filmgoers will be treated to the most lavish cinematic feast of the year.

    Tang Lijun, the festival's spokesperson, talks about the highlights.

    "What's highly anticipated is that audiences will be able to watch those fantastic movies from 79 countries and regions around the world. The star-studded cast on the red carpet is another highlight. There will be about 300 stars taking part, including Halle Berry, Quincy Jones and Zhang Ziyi."

    Since its inception 15 years ago, the Shanghai International Film Festival has become one of the fastest growing cinematic events in the world. Each year, the festival draws a growing number of international filmmakers and investors looking to enter the Chinese film market.

    Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is chairman of the jury at this year's film festival.

    "It certainly becomes an incredible place to launch a film, because you can start a film here and release it throughout the nation and throughout Asia. And also you hear about the provision of digital cinema in China. It's groundbreaking, and that's the future."
    The week-long festival would include Film Competitions, Film Forums, among others.

    As the most eye-catching part of this film festival, the competition section of the festival will cover nearly 2,000 films from all over the world.

    The film "Wheat," the latest production by Chinese director He Ping, has premiered as the opening film to this year's event. Insiders regard it as one of the most anticipated films of the year.

    The event lasts until next Sunday.
    "Wheat" Grows out of Golf Course
    2009-06-13 16:29:21 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Ma Ting

    "Wheat" director He Ping found a large part of the film's cast on golf courses.

    The lead actors and actresses of the historical drama attended a press conference in Shanghai on Friday before the film premieres and opens the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival on June 13.

    Veteran actors Wang Zhiwen, Wang Xueqi and Wang Ji told media that all of them became acquainted with the director through playing golf with him.

    The film also features Fan Bingbig and Huang Jue.

    The historical drama tells a story about the women left behind when their men have gone off to war -- and the lies they are told by two runaway soldiers to keep them from knowing the awful truth.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    18th Shanghai International Film Festival

    That's a weird pick of Donnie and Iron Mike. Makes me think they should have been cast for the Rush Hour TV series.

    Jackie Chan, Mike Tyson help kick off Shanghai Film Festival
    18th Shanghai International Film Festival - Opening Ceremony & Red Carpet


    Mike Tyson, left, and Donnie Yen pose for a picture on the red carpet at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival on June 13, 2015, in Shanghai. (Kevin Lee / Getty Images)

    By Julie Makinen

    A disease outbreak in South Korea and a film removed by censors dampen opening of Shanghai film festival

    Jackie Chan, Mike Tyson and Fan Bingbing walked the red carpet Saturday night as a somewhat subdued Shanghai International Film Festival got underway in China’s bustling commercial capital.


    Chinese actress Fan Bingbing poses on the red carpet during the opening ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on June 13, 2015. (Johannes Eisele / AFP/Getty Images)

    Concerns about the outbreak of MERS in South Korea and the removal of a Japanese film at the behest of Chinese government censors put a bit of a damper on the 18th annual event, which for years was the only substantial film festival in China until Beijing launched its own festival in 2011. Both events are under government control, but authorities seem to be pouring significant resources into raising the profile of the Beijing affair, which is held in April.

    Festival organizers sent emails to some expected participants from South Korea, suggesting that they stay home; at the registration desk, South Korean attendees were asked to fill out a health history form.

    In the lobby of Shanghai Movie City, a movie complex that is one of the central film venues, large printed screening schedules still carried the title “Attack on Titan,” but ticket sellers said the animated Japanese film had indeed been pulled from the lineup and replaced with another Japanese movie. The film was among 38 foreign animated properties deemed excessively violent or pornographic earlier this week by China’s Ministry of Culture.

    Unlike last year, when “Transformers: Age of Extinction” closed out the Shanghai festival, this year’s lineup includes no Hollywood blockbusters, though Antoine Fuqua’s long-in-the-works boxing drama “Southpaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is having its world premiere at the festival.


    Jackie Chan poses on the red carpet during the opening ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on June 13, 2015. (Johannes Eisele / AFP/Getty Images)

    The film, which is competing for the Golden Goblet award, centers on a lefthanded junior-middleweight champ (Gyllenhaal) whose is sent into a spiral by a tragic accident. With the help of a washed-up former boxer (Forest Whitaker), he starts to fight his way back to personal and professional redemption.

    The opening film was the somewhat saccharine "I Am Somebody," directed by Derek Tung-Sing Yee, about Chinese movie extras trying to make a go of it on the studio lots in Hengdian, a major movie film center not far from Shanghai.

    The closing night film on June 21 will be the China-Russia co-production "Ballet in the Flames of War," directed by China's Yachun Dong and Russia's Nikita Mikhalkov. Organizers said the movie “highlights the friendship between China and Russia through a love story unfolding in the midst of World War II.”

    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known in China as the War to Resist Japanese Aggression, and the festival has programmed a special section of films devoted to this theme, including “Casablanca,” German director Volker Schlondorff’s “The Tin Drum” and Andre Singer’s Holocaust documentary “Night Will Fall.”

    The Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose “Leviathan” was nominated for the foreign language Oscar this year, is heading up this year’s jury for the Golden Goblet award.

    The festival offers cinema-goers the chance to see a number of American films that were never imported into theaters in China, which restricts the number of foreign films that can enter the market each year. Among some of the U.S. films screening are “Whiplash” and “Birdman.” Former boxer Mike Tyson is attending the festival not because he has an American film in the festival but because he has a guest part in the upcoming Chinese movie “Ip Man 3.” DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg also attended the event.

    This year, the Shanghai fest will offer fans the chance to see all six films in the “Star Wars” series, a first for the mainland. “Jackie Chan Action Movie Week” is expected to draw a number of international filmmakers, including Renny Harlin and Brett Ratner for a series of forums and screenings that organizers said “will leverage the prestige of Jackie Chan in the world of action movies, highlight Chinese culture reflected in action movies, and pool together worldwide resources in support of the globalization of Chinese films and culture.”
    Gene Ching
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    S.i.f.f. 2019

    Shanghai Festival to Open With WWII Epic 'The Eight Hundred,' Wu Jing to Serve as Ambassador
    1:38 AM PDT 6/4/2019 by Patrick Brzeski


    Huayi Brothers Media
    'The Eight Hundred'

    Notably, given Donald Trump's ongoing U.S.-China trade war, not a single film from North America is included in the Chinese festival's main competition sections this year.
    The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), China's most established cinema event, has unveiled the opening titles and competition selection for its 2019 edition.

    The festival will kick off on June 15 with a double bill of Chinese WWII epic The Eight Hundred and local drama Beautiful Voyage from filmmaker Zhang Jiarui.

    Landing The Eight Hundred as an opener is something of a coup for the Shanghai event. The film, produced by Huayi Brothers with a lavish budget of over $80 million, is the first Chinese action film shot entirely on Imax cameras, and it is expected to become one of the country's biggest event movies of the summer when it opens wide on July 5.

    Chinese action hero Wu Jing, star of Chinese mega-blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth, will bring the star power to Shanghai's opening red carpet, serving as the event's official 2019 ambassador. English actor Tom Hiddleston, already well known to local filmgoers as Loki from the Avengers franchise, will help wrap up the festivities by attending the closing ceremony on June 24.

    Other stars slated to walk the carpet and participate in SIFF events include X-Men star Nicholas Hoult, Milla Jovovich, Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin, Japanese stars Ayaka Miyoshi and Mao Inoue, and a slew of Chinese talent, including actresses Yao Chen, Ni Ni, Deng Jiajia, Zhou Dongyu and Yong Mei.

    Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, winner of the 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or, is presiding over the jury that will decide the winners of SIFF's annual Golden Goblet Awards.

    Ceylan is joined on the jury by Chinese actress Zhao Tao, Italian director Paolo Genovese (whose 2016 film Perfect Strangers was remade as Chinese thriller Kill Mobile, earning $93 million last year), Russia’s Aleksey German Jr. (director of the period biopic Dovlatov), Indian hitmaker Rajkumar Hirani (3 Idiots), Mexican producer Nicolas Celis (Roma) and Chinese actor Wang Jingchun (winner of this year's Berlin Silver Bear for best actor).

    Shanghai's competition lineup includes a broad sampling of world cinema, with a discernible emphasis on filmmaking from countries located along Chinese president Xi Jinping's geopolitical Belt and Road infrastructure and soft-power project. Notably, given the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and controversy over Canada's arrest of a top executive from Huawei, not a single film from North America made Shanghai's selection this year — a sharp contrast from recent years.

    Main competition titles include Russian director Pavel Lungin's war drama Leaving Afghanistan (also known as Brother), Iranian film Castle of Dreams, German family drama Many Happy Returns, Chinese crime film Vortex and Mexican actor Gael García Bernal's directorial debut Chicuarotes, which recently bowed at Cannes (the full SIFF competition lineup is below).

    The festival's Asian New Talent Awards, which honor emerging film professionals from the region, will be handed out by a jury headed by Chinese star director Ning Hao (Crazy Alien).

    SIFF's documentary and animation sections (see lineups below), meanwhile, will be assessed by juries lead by Russian director Viktor Kossakovsky (Aquarela) and Irish filmmaker Tomm Moore (The Breadwinner, The Secret of Kells), respectively.

    Altogether, SIFF will screen approximately 500 films across its key competition categories, country specific sidebars and historical retrospectives. Festival organizers said they received more than 3,900 film submissions from 112 countries and regions this year. Local state media were keen to note that nearly half of the applications, over 1,800 titles from 53 countries, came from countries and territories participating in Xi's Belt and Road Initiative.

    Below is the Shanghai festival's lineup.

    Main Competition Section

    BROTHERHOOD (Russia), by Pavel Lungin

    CASTLE OF DREAMS (Iran), by Reza Mirkarimi

    CHICUAROTES (Mexico), by Gael García Bernal

    THE GREAT SPIRIT (Italy), by Sergio Rubini

    INHALE-EXHALE (Georgia/ Russia/ Sweden),by Dito Tsintsadze

    LANE 4 (Brazil), by Emiliano Cunha

    LITTLE NIGHTS, LITTLE LOVE (Japan), by Rikiya Imaizumi

    MANY HAPPY RETURNS (Germany), by Carlos A. Morelli

    PACARRETE (Brazil), by Allan Deberton

    THE RETURN (China), by QIN Hailu

    ROSA (Italy/ Slovenia), by Katja Colja

    SHYRAKSHY: GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT (Kazakhstan), by Yermek Tursunov

    SPRING TIDE (China), by YANG Lina

    TREES UNDER THE SUN (India) by Dr. Biju

    VORTEX (China), by Jacky Gan

    Documentary Film Section

    BRIDGES OF TIME (Latvia/ Lithuania/ Estonia), By Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys

    THE FOURTH KINGDOM (Spain), by Adán Aliaga and Àlex Lora

    IT'S ALL GOOD (Venezuela / Germany) by Tuki Jencquel

    MUTE FIRE (Colombia), by Federico Arteaga

    THE SOUND OF DALI (China), by ZHANG Yang

    Animation Film Section

    DILILI IN PARIS (France / Belgium / Germany), by Michel Ocelot)

    LOTTE AND THE LOST DRAGONS (Estonia), by Janno Põldma

    LOUIS AND LUCA – MISSION TO THE MOON (Norway), by Rasmus A. Sivertsen

    RIDE YOUR WAVE (Japan), by Masaaki Yuasa

    SPYCIES (China), by ZHANG Zhiyi and Guillaume Ivernel
    THREADS
    Asian Film Festivals and Awards
    Wu Jing
    The Eight Hundred
    Gene Ching
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    Sff - 800 = ?

    JUNE 14, 2019 3:41AM PT
    Shanghai Film Festival Abruptly Pulls Opening Film ‘The Eight Hundred’
    By PATRICK FRATER
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: BAI XIAOYAN/HUAYI BROS.

    The Shanghai Film Festival has abruptly yanked its opening movie, the $80 million patriotic war drama “The Eight Hundred,” on the eve of the fest’s kickoff, Variety has confirmed.

    The cancellation of the Saturday premiere was made for unspecified “technical reasons,” which is often a euphemism for censorship problems, although a source close to the project told Variety that that is not the issue in this case and that the film had successfully passed the content censorship stage. “Technical reasons” were also cited in the withdrawal of Zhang Yimou’s “One Second” from the Berlin Film Festival in February.

    While Chinese authorities have withdrawn films from other film festivals – two were pulled from the Berlinale, including “One Second” – it’s unusual for a Chinese-made film to be yanked from a Chinese festival.

    “The Shanghai International Film Festival opening film screening of ‘The Eight Hundred’ originally planned for June 15 has been canceled due to technical reasons,” the festival said. “For the inconvenience this brings to all the guests and media, we respectfully hope you can understand and hope everyone will continue to support us.”

    “The Eight Hundred,” from well-established studio Huayi Bros., is directed by Guan Hu (“Mr. Six”) and centers on the sacrifice of a ragtag group of Chinese soldiers in 1937 Shanghai as imperial Japanese troops advanced. The theme would appear to be in keeping with the patriotic message that the Beijing regime wants to promulgate this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

    But the source close to the film said that “The Eight Hundred” might have fallen victim to political concerns not directly related to censorship – namely, the Chinese government’s wish not to antagonize Japan at the moment. The two countries are currently on good terms even as China and the U.S., Japan’s main ally, escalate their trade war.

    “The Eight Hundred” was expected to have been a showcase for China’s growing filmmaking prowess. Among several firsts, it is the first film to have been substantially shot with Imax digital cameras. The technical crew on the film features a mixed Chinese and international team, including Chinese cinematographer Cao Yu (“Kekexili,” “Legend of the Demon Cat”), American action director Glenn Boswell (“The Matrix,” “I, Robot”), original music by the U.K.’s Rupert Gregson-Williams (“The Crown,” “Aquaman,” “Wonder Woman”), and Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Tim Crosbie (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”) of Australia.

    “The Eight Hundred” has been picked up for North America by CMC Pictures in a deal announced at Cannes. It has also sold to several other Asian countries, and to the U.K. and Germany. After its Shanghai festival screening, it was due to be released in Chinese theaters July 5.
    THREADS
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    Asian Film Festivals and Awards
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  6. #6
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    gloom defiance

    With this post, I'm breaking the Shanghai International Film Festival into its own indie thread, separate from our Asian Film Festivals and Awards thread.

    ASIA JUNE 15, 2019 6:59AM PT
    Shanghai Festival Defies Gloom to Open on Upbeat Note
    By PATRICK FRATER and REBECCA DAVIS


    CREDIT: SIPA ASIA/SHUTTERSTOCK

    The Chinese film industry may not yet have emerged from a “cold winter” production freeze, nor its box office kept pace with 2018. But but those inclement elements did not put a chill on the pageantry at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

    The opening ceremony for the festival’s 22nd edition went ahead Saturday with the usual red carpet parade, and with the habitual speeches and formalities. But it did so without the scheduled world premiere screening of Guan Hu’s “The Eight Hundred.”

    News that the historical war film had been cancelled “for technical reasons” was abruptly circulated just 24 hours earlier — too late for the festival to arrange another new film to take its place. The screening of the second opening film, Chinese drama “Beautiful Voyage,” went forward as planned.

    The usual inclement seasonal weather, known locally as “plum rains” held off, permitting a red carpet parade that showcased mainland and Hong Kong stars, top local film makers, and the international jury, headed by Turkey’s much decorated auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

    Officials, jury members and stars were called on to praise the festival and its achievements.

    The Shanghai Intl Film festival has become “a calling card for the city of Shanghai” and “one of the most influential film festivals in Asia” said Ying Yong, Mayor of Shanghai

    “When I look at the previous presidents, it’s a rich history of film, and the great achievements they’ve made in film history and the artistic life they’ve given to the Golden Goblet trophy make me feel really honored,” said Ceylan.

    Top Chinese actress Tang Wei as well as stars Shu Qi and Lu Han, who star together in the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster”Shanghai Fortress,” were on hand to present a medley of trailers for the competition films. “After shooting Shanghai Fortress, whenever we come to the city we feel quite emotional and like we should be on a mission,” joked Lu. Other presenters included Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior II”), while Zhang Ziyi (“House of Flying Daggers”) graced the stage in a white gown to present her new film “The Climbers.”

    Earlier, the team from “Wild Goose Lake” including actor Liao Fan and Gui Lun Mei were red carpet rock stars. They performed the film’s dance routine on the runway to the tune of “Rasputin.”

    Bona Film Group founder and chairman Yu Dong brought with him the biggest entourage of the evening, including producers and talent from two of Bona’s upcoming movies: “The Rescue” and “The Bravest.” “Rescue” director Dante Lam and producer Cindy Leung accompanied star Eddie Peng.

    Others on the carpet included producer Terence Chang, “Skyfire” actress Hanna Quinlivinn, producer Ellen Eliasoph, Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung, and actress and Shanghai festival juror Zhao Tao.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    rivals not sufficiently negative...

    Sux for the filmmakers.

    ASIA JUNE 15, 2019 5:11PM PT
    Chinese Research Group May Have Caused Cancellation of ‘The Eight Hundred’ Premiere

    By REBECCA DAVIS
    Rebecca Davis


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF HUAYI BROS.

    Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked the $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its opening-night premiere at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said.

    Huayi Bros., which produced the film, had on Friday attributed the cancellation of the film’s Saturday evening premiere to “technical reasons.” That term has quickly become a euphemism for Chinese government interference.

    But numerous Chinese-language reports speculate that the real cause might be gleaned from recent statements delivered by the China Red Culture Research Assn. The group of Communist Party-minded scholars and experts met in Beijing last Sunday and collectively deemed that “it would be very inappropriate to use ‘The Eight Hundred’ as a tribute to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China” this year, the group’s vice president, Hu Cheng, was quoted in numerous WeChat posts as saying.

    The film tells the story of Chinese soldiers who defended a warehouse for four days in a 1937 incident during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Their operations were once praised by Mao Zedong himself as a “classic example of national revolution.”

    Yet association members said the film mis-stepped in its portrayal of the rival Kuomintang Party, which ruled China until it lost the civil war against the Communists in 1949 and fled to Taiwan. The two parties continue to dispute their respective roles in fighting the Japanese.

    In the most illuminating statement, the research association’s secretary general, Wang Benzhou, criticized the film by saying: “The class oppression within the ranks of the Kuomintang army, the misdeeds of its officers and its evil oppression of the people have disappeared without a trace, making it seem that the Kuomintang army was the real people’s army.”

    He added: “The seriousness of the problem has gone far beyond the scope of literature and art; it is a reversal of history, and misleads the audience. If left unchecked, it will certainly deprive the entire Communist Party of its historical basis. Once the Party’s leadership is lost, the Chinese nation is bound to fall into the deep, miserable abyss of colonized and semi-colonized countries.”

    Of particular concern was the epic’s climax, which apparently depicts a touching scene where the soldiers defend the Kuomintang flag on the warehouse roof. The film “shouldn’t so enthusiastically declare the ‘dignity’ and ‘sacredness’ of the Kuomintang flag. Whether or not it’s intentional, if we do that, we hurt the Chinese people, especially the soldiers who gave their lives to build the new China,” said group member Guo Songmin, a former air force lieutenant and film critic.

    The upcoming 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic, in October, is of huge importance to the Communist Party, and is already being accompanied by heightened censorship and propaganda pushes. “They aren’t going to take chances this year, especially with the 70th coming up,” said Beijing-based historian Jeremiah Jenne. “Even things that seem relatively innocuous, or even beneficial, are going to get closer scrutiny, with the attitude being, ‘If there are any chances at all that it could backfire, let’s postpone it until a different time.’”

    He added that “modern history in particular is a tricky minefield because it relates so closely to the party’s own history, mythology and legacy, so they tend to be more sensitive about that.”

    While there is no hard evidence that the association’s opinions are the cause of the film’s canceled premiere, the group’s stance likely echoes that of the Party’s Propaganda Bureau, which since last year has taken over as China’s top film censorship authority, dictating what can be shown when.

    “The Eight Hundred” was positioned as one of the summer’s major blockbusters, with a July 5 debut in both China and the U.S. and local media predictions of more than $215 million (RMB1.5 billion) at the box office. The sudden cancellation has raised concerns among online commentators that the film may not be allowed a theatrical release at all – even though the Chinese box office is currently suffering from a lack of strong local product, thanks to a severe production slowdown.

    That would be a heavy blow to Huayi, which has already suffered multiple setbacks in the past year and incurred losses of $158 million (RMB1.09 billion).

    The firm appears to have been caught totally unaware by the cancellation. On Friday, when the film was pulled, the company’s WeChat account went about business as usual, promoting it proudly as “an epic work that reflects the national spirit and extols our national heroes.”

    On Thursday, the day before, Huayi co-chairman and co-founder Wang Zhongjun increased his personal stake in the company by buying an additional $14.4 million (RMB100 million) in shares.
    THREADS
    The Eight Hundred
    Shanghai International Film Festival
    Gene Ching
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    Hollywood is stuck with remakes without censorship issues

    JUNE 16, 2019 3:36PM PT
    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say
    By REBECCA DAVIS


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday.

    Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions.

    The fundamental distinction is that in China, “the screenwriting system is a service centered on the director, who is the creative center,” rather than the producer, he assessed. In his experience, he’d seen that this could be frustrating for Chinese writers, who, eager to finally put their own spin on things, would often fail to execute what he’d asked of them, and turn in scripts that veered too far away from the company or the director’s original vision, making it necessary to switch from writer to writer until someone stuck.

    But when working on Hollywood films like “The Meg,” he saw that writers were used to doing multiple iterations of the same story without touching its overall direction or main storyline, and were used to discussing what elements they’d like to add before going ahead with them.

    “I think this experience of mine is something to note for great producers… coming to China,” he said. “The type of screenwriter system you’re jumping into is an important factor in your choice of what kind of project to undertake.

    Siddharth Roy Kapur, Indian producer of smash hit “Dangal,” provided advice on how producers should balance different players’ creative visions. “It’s important to bring the director on board as early in the process as possible,” he said. “If you bring the director on at the end of the process, the director wants to come in, but the writers want to make it their own.”

    He added: “It is important as the producer to pick your battles – very often, there are producers that have writing aspirations, and they want to jump on writing the script. That leads to a larger conflict later.”

    “You need to realize you’re not the writer. If you have a vision you’ve got to let the writers see it so that they can then go out and create magic. It can’t be a writing by committee — that never works.”

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO Jerry Ye also highlighted the differences between China and the West when it comes to screenwriting.

    “The thing with China right now is that there’s a huge lack of creative power… so we spend a huge amount of time finding a good script. I now require all my producers to spend 60% of their energy on the script,” he said. “This is something that’s hard to understand for foreign filmmakers because in many countries, there are loads of great scripts and stories sitting around, but no capital or market to support them. It’s the opposite in China.”

    Most younger Chinese creatives still don’t understand the logic needed to create a successful script, Ye said, urging them to study foreign films and screenwriting techniques. Huayi therefore often had to resort to hiring foreign writers to “build the bones of a screenplay” before bringing in Chinese screenwriters to then “fill it out with flesh and blood,” Ye said. He laughed: “We could also just do more remakes — as long as they can pass censorship.”
    THREADS
    Shanghai International Film Festival
    Chollywood rising
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Er Dong Pictures

    ASIA JUNE 18, 2019 8:47AM PT
    Shanghai: Er Dong Pictures Adds to Web of Hollywood and Chinese Deals
    By PATRICK FRATER
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: YANG WEI CHEN/SHUTTERSTOCK

    Chinese production and talent company Er Dong Pictures shed some light on its latest film investment slate and growing web of relationships in Asia and Hollywood.

    The company, which is in the process of establishing a joint venture with Hollywood talent firm The Gersh Agency, and has a 12-film co-funding deal with Starlight Culture Entertainment, announced its involvement in new projects with Roland Emmerich, Jon M. Chu and Sylvester Stallone.

    Projects include “Those About to Die,” a film project with Harald Kloser set as producer. Emmerich and Gianni Nunnari (“The Departed”) are also involved, though their roles were not specified.

    “Sylvester Stallone will be cooperating with Er Dong Pictures and Starlight on three projects,” Er Dong said. The company appears to be boarding projects being hatched by Stallone’s Balboa Pictures, including the previously announced English-language remake of recent Korean action film “The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil,” which had its premiere in the midnight screening section at Cannes this year.

    “Stallone will remake ‘The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil.’ Like the original movie, the American version will star Ma Dong-Seok, also known as Don Lee. This will be produced by Starlight Culture Entertainment and Er Dong Pictures, who will also jointly develop ‘Walled City’ and ‘Jiadong,’ while Han Jianv, the screenwriter of Chinese hit ‘Dying to Survive,’ will participate in the creation of ‘Jiadong’,” Er Dong said.

    Er Dong also said that it has begun working with War Party Films, the recently- established company that teams director Joe Carnaghan (“Boss Level”) and actor Frank Grillo. Grillo is a known quantity in China through his starring role in “Wolf Warrior II.”

    Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians” sent a video message to an Er Dong event held Sunday on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival, and said that he would be cooperating with the Chinese company and with Starlight.

    On the local, Chinese front, Er Dong announced three projects: “Stealing Time,” to be directed by Michael Jia from a Han script; “Eight and A Half Seconds,” to be directed by Cui Zhijia; and “Good Morning Princess,” to be directed by Lv Kejing. Er Dong was previously an investor in Chinese film “Song of Youth” and recent Hong Kong-made “P Storm.”

    The promo event in Shanghai also boasted the presence of film makers Emmerich, Nunnari, Han, and Carnaghan. Gersh-repped talent Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais, were were on hand to unveil clips of their latest films. Gersh executives in attendance included Robert Gersh, Gersh Agency co-president and managing partner, Brett Norensberg, William Gersh and Mike Staudt.


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF ER DONG PICTURES

    The four-year-old Er Dong first gave notice of its vaulting ambitions at the Hong Kong FilMart market in March. There it touted the budding relationships with Gersh, former Summit Entertainment executive Patrick Wachsberger and former head of Columbia/TriStar Chris Lee, and announced the outline of the Starlight pact. Er Dong said that it was involved in “Gold Mountain,” a period drama by Alan Tyler, and “Autoerotic” by Sam Raimi.

    Er Dong is currently building multiplexes — five are set to open this year — and 10 VR cinemas across China. It has also announced its ambition of a stock market IPO, though has not specified in which jurisdiction or when this would be.

    Starlight, which has outposts in mainland China and Los Angeles, is already listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It shed its Macau casino junkets business, and changed its name from Jimei Entertainment in 2017. Starlight was an investor in “Crazy Rich Asians” and the upcoming Emmerich-directed “Midway.”
    I was wondering what Tony & Iko were doing there. Saw it on their social media.
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    Shanghai International Film Festival

    IKO UWAIS To Headline The Action Thriller CHINATOWN EXPRESS
    By David Vo - June 18, 2019



    Martial arts star Iko Uwais (Triple Threat) is set to headline the upcoming action thriller Chinatown Express.

    Uwais recently attended the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival as part of Er Dong Pictures promo event to announce the project from the Hollywood Gang production company. The film follows a man who must fight through the gangland of New York to save his family after the disappearance of his son during a gang killings spree.

    In addition to taking on the lead role, Uwais also serves as producer alongside Gianni Nunnari and Ricky Siahaan.

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    Thank you #StarlightInternational #ErDongPictures and Hollywood Gang for having me and my team in your beautiful event. It was an honor, fun and very excited for the upcoming projects. They’re going to be badass.
    Stay tuned for more details.
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    Luv Emily...

    ...Team Widow forever!

    Shanghai: Emily Beecham on the Mental Health Challenges of Acting
    3:38 AM PDT 6/25/2019 by Mathew Scott


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    Emily Beecham

    "Be a happy person even if the person you are playing is not," says the Palme d'Or winner and 'Into the Badlands' star, who was joined at the Shanghai festival by Chinese star Yong Mei to discuss the art of acting.

    Palme d'Or-winning British actress Emily Beecham (Little Joe, Into the Badlands) at the Shanghai International Film Festival urged fellow actors to look after their mental health and to be prepared for the difficulties that can come with playing "difficult characters."

    "Be a happy person even if the person you are playing is not," she said. "Be aware that the mind is a powerful thing, so use it in the right way."

    Beecham was joined on stage by Chinese actress Yong Mei – winner of this year’s Berlin’s Silver Bear for her turn in the Wang Xiaoshuai-directed drama So Long, My Son – for the final masterclass at this year’s Shanghai festival. Entitled "Actress on Actress," it shed light on the craft that has brought both actresses fame, and on its effects.

    "Some of the best actors I have worked with do suffer from anxiety and emotional [problems]," said Beecham. "I think it goes hand in hand with being a sensitive person. A lot of great actors are very sensitive and vulnerable. It can affect you. So it is good that people are talking about this."

    Beecham said laughter had helped in her own career, which has included her award-winning turn as the scientist messing with life forces in director Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe, as well as a long-running part as the Widow in the martial arts-themed TV series Into The Badlands.

    "You have to have a sense of humor about it as well," she said. "You’re not a doctor, not saving people’s lives. It’s just acting, so don’t take it too seriously. Have empathy with the character you are playing, but leave it at the end of the day."

    The 35-year-old revealed that when starting out, she had heard other actors talk about "leaving the role at home." But "I’d never quite understood it until I started getting in to it," she said. "The hours are very long, so you can do really strange hours and then you have to just switch off and go to sleep. That can be a lot of pressure, especially if you’ve done a scene where you’ve been chased by a monster, or you’ve seen a death. So look after yourself, and look after your mental health as well."

    The pair discussed in general terms how they prepared for roles, and the differences they have found between acting for the large and the small screen. Beecham said that input was often welcomed in the former but frowned upon in the latter.

    "My last two films I’ve really liked the scripts and didn’t want to change them," she said. "But I did do a TV series. It needed ratings, to keep the ratings up. It was entertainment; it wasn’t very deep. There were lots of things I wanted to change about that, but I had no control. It was not welcomed, my opinion. So that’s just a different kind of job, really. There are just different jobs, [but] amazing, independent film is just a privilege to be in." She didn't share which TV series she was referring to.

    Beecham also said she hadn’t found much use for her classical theater training since moving on to movies. "I don’t believe you really need it," she said. "Especially with film. There are techniques you can use, but I have found life experience to be a much better teacher. Learning about yourself as a human being is a much better way of learning. Understanding human beings. Life."

    The 49-year-old Yong revealed she had landed her first role – in the Chinese series The Man Who Herds the Clouds (1997) – with no previous acting experience. "I trained myself," she said. "I was my own teacher, and I learned from exchanges with the director and other actors. You try your best to accumulate life experience in order to become a better actor."
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    Shanghai is on


    MOVIES
    Shanghai Film Festival Set to Open July 25 Without Foreign Guests
    10:15 PM PDT 7/15/2020 by Patrick Brzeski


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    Shanghai

    The 2020 edition of the festival, now scheduled to begin in just over one week, will take a condensed form and be mostly a Chinese affair, staffers for the festival told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday.

    The Shanghai International Film Festival, China's longest-running major cinema event, will take place in-person beginning July 25.

    The 2020 edition of the festival, now scheduled to kick off in just over one week, will take a condensed form and be mostly a Chinese affair, staffers for the event told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday. The festival will go without its usual international jury and main competition, instead screening an abridged selection of gala films for the public and local industry. The event's screening lineup is expected to be released in the days ahead.

    The Shanghai International TV Festival, typically held in tandem with the film festival, will take place in abridged form from Aug. 3 to 7.

    Chinese immigration authorities continue to maintain strict bars on entry for foreign travelers from most of the world, and lengthy quarantine requirements are in place for all returning Chinese citizens. Festival organizers say offshore guests won't be formally invited to the festival, but staff from international film companies stationed within China will be welcome to attend.

    The festival, considered China's most prestigious international cinema event, typically is held in mid-June, but it was postponed this year in response to the pandemic.

    News of the festival's renewed plans for a physical edition follow an announcement from China's Film Bureau earlier in the day permitting Chinese cinemas in regions deemed "low-risk" for coronavirus infection to resume business on July 20.
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    Donnie at SIFF on IM3

    Shanghai: Donnie Yen Describes Shooting Fight Scenes with Mike Tyson as a Near-Death Experience
    The Hong Kong action star spoke about the full sweep of his career at a Shanghai International Film Festival masterclass, while also discussing his current mission to defy Chinese stereotypes on screen.


    BY KAREN CHU

    JUNE 16, 2021 8:15PM

    Donnie Yen at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Shanghai Film Festival. YVES DEAN/GETTY IMAGES
    Speaking at a Shanghai International Film Festival masterclass this week, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen recounted how one of Mike Tyson’s hooks almost knocked him out with the force of “a head-on truck” during the shooting of Ip Man 3 (2015). The actor has taken on triple duties at this year’s SIFF. In addition to sharing the highlights of his career in the masterclass, he has also premiered his latest cop thriller Raging Fire and is the ambassador for the festival’s “Belt and Road Film Week” sidebar.

    Yen recalled that, as a boxing fan of Tyson’s, he relished the chance to spar with the former world heavyweight champion on-screen. But Yen also had no illusion about Tyson being a real boxer, not an actor, and knew that Tyson’s boxing moves were not only for show. “When I was in a scene with him, I had to remind myself that I have to be very cautious. I daren’t allow myself to think I was shooting a scene for a film,” Yen told the masterclass. “I had to treat it as a real fight in a boxing ring with him and it was a matter of life and death. I couldn’t afford to be distracted in any way, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a K.O., it would have cost me my life.”

    In a shot when Tyson threw a hook, Yen was supposed to duck, but for the sake of the cameras, he could only duck at the last possible moment. “That was so dangerous! I literally felt the air move with his punch, which was like a truck coming towards me head-on. I felt that wind — woah, that’s still so clear in my mind, so dangerous! His fist was so huge, and it touched my hair,” Yen reminisced, still shaken. “I had to wait until the last moment to crouch down and at the same time not let myself be hurt. For me, that was the biggest pressure.”

    Yen, who is set to appear in the fourth installment of Keanu Reeves’s John Wick franchise, also talked in-depth about his start in the film industry under the tutelage of acclaimed action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, who, incidentally, designed the action sequences and trained Reeves for The Matrix trilogy.

    Yen came from a martial arts lineage, having learned since a young age from his mother, a famed tai chi master, and later went to Beijing to train further in martial arts. His mother counted among her pupils the sister of Yuen Woo-ping. In the mid-1980s, when Yuen was prepping Drunken Tai Chi, his follow-up to Drunken Master and Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (both 1978), which made Jackie Chan a star, Yuen’s sister recommended the 18-year-old Yen to him, and the film became Yen’s screen debut.

    Yen and Yuen went on to make contemporary actioner Tiger Cage in 1988, where Yen first suggested to his film industry mentor “a personal stamp”, inspired by Yen’s hero, Bruce Lee. “Generally, in a fight scene, the last shot would stay on the defeated,” Yen said. “But that shot was always reserved for Bruce Lee in a Bruce Lee film. You get the full blast of his charisma in that shot. The way he pulled a punch, how he retracted his fist – that is completely his personal charm.”

    His latest outing, Raging Fire, was also the posthumous work of Hong Kong director Benny Chan, who fell ill and was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer during the film’s production and passed away last August at the age of 58. Yen disclosed that it was the mutual admiration he shared with the helmer of Hong Kong classic A Moment of Romance (1990) and later The White Storm (2013) that led to his signing up for Raging Fire. Chan completed filming but was not able to take charge of the post-production due to declining health.

    As one of the Asian stars making a mark in Hollywood films such as Rogue One and the live-action Mulan, Yen considered these jobs an important chance, a mission even, for positive Chinese representation. “I’d always ask the producer whether the role I’m supposed to take and the content of the film as a whole is respectful of Chinese people and Chinese culture,” said Yen, a self-proclaimed patriot. “That’s something I’ve always done. Now that I have more influence, I must speak up for my country and speak out when I think something is not right. I also have a very important mission, which is to use my influence to show the audience that Chinese are not a stereotype. Whatever you can do, we can do it, too.”
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