Opening and Closing
11th Beijing International Film Festival Opens, Filmmakers Make Concerted Efforts to Create Light in Beijing, Tonight
The 11th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF), guided by the China Film Administration, hosted by China Media Group and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality and organized by the Beijing Municipal Film Administration, the Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau, the Beijing Radio & Television Station, the Huairou District People's Government of Beijing Municipality and Beijing Enterprises Group Company Limited, opened at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention & Exhibition Center on September 21, 2021.
Global filmmakers gather at the 11th BJIFF in an energetic autumn with a full moon
The 11th BJIFF saw a unique red-carpet appearance different from previous editions. On September 20, a "film-themed train bound for the Film Town" departed and traveled along the way that connects many well-known scenic spots. On the star-studded train, film and TV stars from various crews shared their insights on the film. With their latest works as part of this year’s BJIFF, filmmakers such as Vision Wei, Yu Haoming and Chen Duling also took to the “red carpet on the train.”
At the opening ceremony on the evening of September 21, Mr. Shen Haixiong, Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, President and Editor-in-Chief of China Media Group (CMG), and President of the Organizing Committee of the 11th Beijing International Film Festival, declared the 11th Beijing International Film Festival open! Mr. Mo Gaoyi, Member of the Standing Committee and Director of the Publicity Department of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and Executive Vice Chairman of the Organization Committee of the 11th Beijing International Film Festival, said in his speech that there is a vibrant growth of the Chinese film industry. Toward a new decade for the BJIFF, we will hold firm to self-confidence, self-improvement and innovation, and strive to make good use of high-quality resources based on our position, thereby exploring a "Beijing Solution" to stimulate the prosperity of the Chinese film industry.
On the occasion of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with bright moonlight, the 11th BJIFF once again extended an invitation to filmmakers around the world who gathered by the Yanqi Lake in a grand reunion of the film family. Yu Hewei, Tong Liya and Zheng Kai as filmmaker representatives moderated the opening ceremony. The stage show Dream for Film based on media convergence and XR technology kicked off the event, allowing the performers to be immersed in the post-pandemic vigorous vitality of China’s film cause. Combined with the screens of Pioneer, Impasse, The Sacrifice, Hi, Mom and other films, it enabled the viewers to find themselves in the sea film and deeply feel the strength of the motherland.
The 11th BJIFF specially invited Ms. Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece, and Olena Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine, as honorary guests, both of whom delivered a speech via video at the time of the opening ceremony. “For Greece, culture and art are the cornerstones of a country’s international relations. Based on this, we are closely linked up with China, where another ancient civilization was born,” Mendoni said in her speech. "I believe that the film and television industry will open a new chapter in China-Ukraine cooperation...The BJIFF will not only be a perfect example of in-depth exchanges between filmmakers and other sectors of the two countries, but also an important platform for cultural cooperation between China and Ukraine,” added Zelenska. Over the past decade, the BJIFF has been committed to driving cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries and the development of the film industry. With its youthful vigor of blazing new trails in a pioneering spirit, it has brought a great vitality and a new look to the world film scene.
Tiantan Award integrates diverse cultures, demonstrates world top standards
The Jury of the BJIFF-Tiantan Award appeared at the Opening Ceremony. We will select the best films in our hearts in a meticulous and professional manner, Jury President Gong Li said, hoping that the BJIFF would make Chinese culture, art and stories known to more in the world. She expected that more and better films from around the world would be accessible to Chinese audiences during the 11th BJIFF.
Also present at the Opening Ceremony were jury members, including actor Chen Kun, director Leste Chen, director Wuershan and actor Zhang Songwen. Films allow free rein to imagination, they said. As filmmakers, they wished they would keep the imagination of films and good films can demonstrate all aspects of life. Foreign jury members: Renny Harlin and Nadine Labaki sent messages via video link, hoping that this year's Tiantan Award would present more imaginative works setting trends for global films. An innovative "online competition" solution will be introduced for this year's Tiantan Award to overcome the negative impact of the global pandemic, and bring the Tiantan Award, the Forward Future Section and award presentation online.
A total of 15 global works were shortlisted for this year's Tiantan Award. At the Opening Ceremony, Zhu Yilong and Zhou Dongyu introduced five works related to "growth"; Yao Chen and Yang Ying recommended five works exploring the peace of mind in life; the five works recommended by Bai Baihe and Du Jiang discussed how individuals undertake responsibilities for the country under the sky of history. The recommendations showed the audience the beauty of thought, the beauty of culture and the beauty of art.
"Mid-Autumn Dialogue" for filmmakers: "Loving the country, serving the people, upholding integrity, promoting art"
The Opening Ceremony of the 11th BJIFF not only presented brilliant shows, but also focused on connections between films and life and the era, and demonstrated the unique ideological height and creative depth of the BJIFF.
Youth, a song & dance show by Zheng Kai, Peng Yuchang and Rong Zishan, reproduced the inner voice of revolutionaries a century ago echoed by filmmakers in 2021; Moonlight, a song by Tan Jianci, Huang Shengyi and Han Dongjun, reflected the wonderful scenery of Huairou known as the movie capital; Nation, a song by Li Yuchun, motivated filmmakers to create more masterpieces, saluting the people's heroes, the great era and the great nation; We Are Not Afraid, the theme song of Chinese Doctors by Mao Amin and Zheng Yunlong, made the people feel the nourishment of heroism once again. Beijing, a song by Zhang Yingxi, Wang Kai and Ju Hongchuan, demonstrated the temperature and quality of Beijing, a city of Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
In the "Mid-Autumn Dialogue" session, several actors expressed their "love" for the film industry and profession from different angles. Actor Zhang Yi told us his unforgettable fate and story with films such as Impasse. He said that art comes from life and nourishes life. Films belong not only to filmmakers, but also to those who need them.
Actor Yu Hewei impressed the guests present with his story of growth in a humorous narration, so that everyone can understand the significance of films for everyone.
Actor Lin Yongjian has been an artist for 35 years since 1986. Staring from his career as a performing artist, he interpreted to us the eight-character core values of literary and art--" Loving the country, serving the people, upholding integrity, promoting art", which are the "secrets" to keep our acting careers ever prosperous. The old films he mentioned, Daughter of the Party, Song of Youth, Heroic Sons and Daughters, Struggles in An Ancient City and The Unfailing Radio Wave refreshed our memories of the past.
Three sophisticated artists -- Tian Hua, Xie Fang and Wang Xiaotang, also gave us their "innermost thoughts" to young filmmakers: "In good times, we should think carefully about failure; facing adversity, we should be brave and strong; while in the hopeless situation, we should be confident to be the best. Just stay true original aspiration and dare to win!”
Tell Chinese stories – Film market in Beijing sees constant growth
China's film market is showing great vitality, in which Beijing's film industry plays an important role. In 2020, China underwent a severe test from the COVID-19. While exerting the efforts in epidemic prevention and control, Beijing's film industry is also actively promoting the work and production resumption for the film industry. Shift from "Produced in Beijing" towards "Quality of Beijing". Last year, of the top ten cinemas with the highest annual box office takings in China six were seated in Beijing, and 185 films were produced in Beijing, topping the industry in China. Beijing has contributed its model and wisdom for the recovery of film industry at home and abroad.
It is noteworthy that The Battle at Lake Changjin, a war-themed film produced in Beijing and to be released on September 30, was selected as the opening film of the 11th BJIFF, echoing the historical moment today. It is backed by a heroic war background, based on positive commemorative significance and guaranteed by the huge investment from talented film studio. In terms of both industrial strength and creative choice, the film can represent the high level of Chinese war films in recent years.
Present the Opening Ceremony were the cast & crew of the film, including Yu Dong (presenter and chief producer), Huang Jianxin (general producer and screenwriter), Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam (director and producer), as well as stars Wu Jing, Zhu Yawen, Li Chen, Han Dongjun, Li Mincheng (Mario Li) and Zhang Hanyu, all of whom shared the shooting titbits, and recited a classic poem The Most Beloved People.
Apart from the latest mainstream blockbusters which triggered a film-watching craze, the classic works of the 11th BJIFF "Beijing Film Panorama" section also aroused the exciting film-watching atmosphere. According to the ticket sales on the first day of the BJIFF, the TOP 10 films whose tickets were sold out at the fastest speed include Mulholland Drive (4K), Satoshi Kon: Dreaming Machine, Paranoia Agent, The Unfailing Radio Wave (4K) , Red Sorghum (4K), etc, especially the tickets of Mulholland Drive (4K), the “bestseller film”, were sold out within 9 seconds, which demonstrated the cultural prosperity as well as the passion and enthusiasm of Chinese fans behind the Chinese film market .
“New Opportunity · New Horizon” Creates the Most Globally Influential Film Festival
The BJIFF this year will bring great surprises from three dimensions: film, filmmaker and film town. Many events and activities such as "Tiantan Award", Beijing Film Panorama, Film Carnival and Closing & Awards Ceremony will be fully upgraded with digital means such as online connection, remote trading, video conferencing, live interaction and online screening to provide a better immersive experience of online participation for the guests, media and film fans.
With regard to the “Beijing Film Panorama”, approximately 1,000 showings of nearly 300 Chinese and foreign films will be available in 31 theaters in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, allowing the audience to enjoy the gluttonous feast of films. Moreover, the BJIFF also set up 17 sections such as the "Special Exhibition - Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China", “Special Exhibition — Winter Olympics Images”, "Works by Gong Li, President of the Jury”, “Restored Classics”, “Franchises”, “Master Review”, “Chinese Story”, etc. The online “Beijing Film Panorama” cooperated with iQIYI, the exclusive partner of the Online BJIFF, to jointly launch about 100 domestic and foreign best films, including more than ten new films, and set up the sections as “First Perspective”, “Focus on Russian Film”, “Chang Chen's Films”, etc. In addition, Beijing Radio & Television Station also opened up TV channels for the 11th BJIFF film screening, offering more choices to fans and allowing "Living Room Theaters" to be available in huge numbers of families.
With regard to “filmmaker”, the casts and crews of The Battle at Lake Changjin and Saturday Fiction took the lead to meet the press respectively. The Workshop & Masterclass Forums including many leading figures in the fields of directors, actors, investment, production, promotion and distribution will also bring wonderful speeches and industry values; Beijing Market will gather the buyers, exhibitors, project parties, judges, mentors and creators to create a perfect closed loop of the film industry; at the Beijing Film Panorama, the cast & crew will meet the fans online or offline to break the boundaries of time and space and share the festival and carnival.
At the BJIFF this year, the charm of Huairou “Film Town” will be presented in a more comprehensive and detailed manner. The film Carnival held in Huairou District is designed with many offline activities such as the immersive experience of the Flower Sea of the Film Town, film and TV animation modeling exhibition, film and TV-themed light show, parent-child theme interactive experience and film and TV related theatrical performance, so as to make every effort to create a cultural and tourism feast of "Spending Your Weekend at the Film Town".
The curtain has been ringed up to make concerted efforts to create light. In the most beautiful autumn in Beijing, various exciting events and activities of the 11th BJIFF are being carried out. The light of film has been reignited in Beijing. Standing at the starting point of a new decade, we sincerely invite you to witness the new glorious stories of the Beijing International Film Festival.