On the evening of April 20th, the 9th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF), sponsored by the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and the China Media Group under the guidance of the China Film Administration, ended at the Huairou State Production Base of China Film Group.
Integrating “awarding, tribute and expressing emotions”, the Closing & Awards Ceremony of the 9th BJIFF initiated the fantastic reverie of the film dream with the “messenger of dreams” as the guest of honor. As the prize-opening prop, the “Sophora Japonica · Leaf” implied that artistic creation was alive and thriving. And the prize-giving ceremony with the “Beijing Growth” gave birth to the vigorous vitality of the Beijing International Film Festival that is rooted in a fertile soil. After eight days of grand display and magnificent blossom, the global dream of cinematic times, stage dreamland and artistic dream merge at this moment; the dream of Chinese film, the beauty of life and the national feelings flourished here.
Adhering to the purpose of “Share the Screen, Shape the Future”, this festival advocates the core concept of “Beauty in Variety, Harmony in Diversity”, and adheres to the style and characteristics of “Master, Mass, Market”. Seven main activities and more than 300 related activities ran through the theme of Home · Land, highlighting the internationalism, brand, foresight, openness and sharing, fully demonstrating the Home ·Land sentiment in a new era. It shows the unique style of Beijing, the oriental movie capital. Six highlights are as follows:
Deeply Explore the Theme of Home · Land, and Further Develop Cultural Self-confidence
A series of activities, such as screenings and forums on the theme of Home · Land, were based on the simple feelings of Chinese filmmakers towards the nation and the country. The diverse and colorful activities provided a rich and interesting film world for the majority of participants, which fully reflects the theme of Home · Land of this film festival. The three domestic films The Composer, The Wandering Earth and The Eleventh Chapter, which were nominated in this year's “Tiantan Award”, finally won three prizes. In terms of film quality and industrial significance, they all present the latest on Chinese films and the Home · Land feelings of Chinese filmmakers. Beijing Film Panorama elaborately set up “Panorama Special - the 70th Anniversary Year of the People’s Republic of China”. With two sub-sections of “Ambilight Times” and “China through the Lens”, it presents from various angles the changes over the past 70 years since the founding of New China and the remarkable artistic achievements of New China’s movies. As one of the six forums specially launched around Theme Forum, The Chinese Films Forum for the 70th Anniversary year of the People's Republic of China explored the development of Chinese films and mainstream film creation since the founding of New China 70 years ago, especially since the reform and opening up.
Further Elevate Film Festival Brand and Expand the International Impact
A total of 775 entries from 85 countries and regions were received for this year’s Tiantan Award, which is more diverse and larger than that of previous years. After several rounds of selection, the jury of the Tiantan Award selected 10 out of 15 shortlisted films. Bille August’s Danish film A Fortunate Man won the Best Feature Film, and Hungarian director László Nemes won the Best Director for Sunset. Positioned as the world-class public film exhibition activity, Beijing Film Panorama this year focused on multi-national characteristics. Nearly 500 excellent films with different genres and styles were selected from around the world, and 16 Out-of-Competition Sections were set according to different themes such as art appreciation, mass entertainment and international communication. In order to actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative and the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Beijing Film Panorama also displayed the excellent films of the countries along the route. In addition, the festival specially planned the Indian Film Week to showcase the classic works and latest masterpieces of the two countries, and invited famous filmmakers from both countries to participate in various exchange activities to promote the cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and India. More than 300 film institutions and 15,000 guests from over 50 countries and regions have participated in various activities of the festival, and were involved in exchanges of high-end topics in a warm and orderly atmosphere.
Heavily Draw on Film and TV Resources, and Further Lead the Topic
As one of the seven main activities of this festival, Theme Forum deeply explored the current situation and future development trends of Chinese and foreign film industries, and attracted the attention of the industry and the media. Among them, The Chinese Films Forum for the 70th Anniversary Year of the People’s Republic of China released The Report on Chinese Film Art 2019 and Ten Excellent Movies—Choices of Critics in 2018; Art Film Forum launched in-depth discussions around “how art movies better connect with the demands of the audiences”; and the International Digital Cinema Technology Forum explored the development trend of world film science and technology with the theme of “high techs lead the high-quality development of filmmaking in this era”; the International Film Market Forum explored strategies and methods to strengthen the management of cinema experience and promote the upgrading of cinema quality; In the Internet Film Theme Forum, as a new forum of this year's film festival, mainstream domestic Internet film industry executives jointly explored the current situation and future development of the Internet era of movies; the China-India Film Co-Production Dialogue sought ways for the common development of Chinese and Indian films and further strengthening of international exchanges and cooperation in cultural media.
Vigorously Expand Beijing Film Market and Further Advance Industry Development
At the Opening Ceremony of this film festival, the China Film Administration released the big data of Chinese films in 2018 and the Spring Festival of 2019. The Beijing film market led the pack and attracted the attention of the global industry. In order to highlight Beijing’s driving force and influence on the Chinese film market, the former “film market” of the festival was renamed and upgraded to “Beijing Film Market”. For the first time, the International Film Trading Zone was established. Nine well-known film copyright dealers from six countries, including France, Singapore and India, were invited to promote in-depth discussions between film makers and international film copyright owners. For the first time, a “WIP” Project Pitches section has been added to form a more complete layout of the whole industry chain. Efforts were made on building three major trading platforms: Film Factor, Project Pitches and Copyright Trading. The site area expanded by 20%, 202 exhibitors have registered, and a total of 735 pitching projects have been received, with the numbers exceeding that of the previous session. Contracts for the project amounted to 30.9028 billion yuan, an increase of about 18.48% over the same period last year. Three consecutive leaps from 10 billion to 30 billion were completed in three years. The total signing amount for nine editions reached 131.939 billion yuan, further consolidating the strong position of the BJIFF as an oriental trading center for global films.
Deeply Cultivate Culture for the Benefit of the People and Further Public Sharing
The Beijing Film Panorama, covering 30 cinemas in commercial, artistic and university areas in Beijing and their surrounding areas, organized 15 days of screening and 63 meet-and-greets and exchange events, attracting 230,000 viewers. In addition, the festival also launched a series of welfare-oriented exhibitions for different groups, including the “Dream of Light and Film Science - Scientist Film National Public Service Tour” and the welfare-oriented screening activity for the 9th BJIFF in “Guang Ming Theatre” for visually impaired people. As the most important mass theme cultural and entertainment activities of the festival, this year’s Film Carnival, themed “ Prosperity & Harmony, Light and Shadow of Huairou” set up six major sections and launched 27 special activities such as Film Screening for the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, Stars Concert for Classic Film Songs, Classic Props Exhibition, Film Role Cosplay Cruise, Jiangnan Watertown Film & TV Situation Show and VR Film Interaction and others, which lasted 21 days. It is expected that 100,000 visitors will be attracted to enjoy the charm of film art and technology from zero distance.
Deeply Cultivate Media Integration, Keep the Innovation Move Forward
This year’s BJIFF strengthened the concept of media integration, highlighted the “mobile first” strategy, expanded and integrated multiple dimensions in planning, content, activities and channels, fully released all-media publicity, deepened the media dissemination pattern, effectively enhanced the attention, forwarding rate and influence of the festival, and created the momentum and effectiveness of the promotion of the festival. A total of 591 domestic and foreign media registered, and 1,669 journalists participated in the report of this festival, 109 more than last year; 16 press conferences and 29 special interviews were organized. For the first time, the festival opened up a new short-video promotion such as Douyin–Chinese version of Tik Tok. During the film festival, the total coverage of the information related to the film festival reached 13.3 billion pieces, and 11 topics in the top three of the Webo hot topic list, a total of 2.07 million discussions, and 3.1064 billion reading volumes were conducted.
Overall, the 9th BJIFF was a grand event featuring lofty political stance, prominent Home· Land theme, wide international presence, high-end exhibition and exchange, active market transactions, and remarkable benefits for the people. It has made important contributions to the development of the national cultural center and the capital of film and television, and to the development of a powerful film country. It has fulfilled the dream of the country and the dream of film, and composed an Ode to Spring. We are looking forward to meeting in Beijing next spring to see the best movies in the world!