From Oscar-winning blockbusters to low-budget art-house and documentary films, the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival screens films for everyone.
Through June 20, 300 foreign and domestic films will be screened citywide at 25 cinemas. Many are the latest productions by well-known movie makers.
It will feature a retrospective of films by Woody Allen and John Woo, classic movies from Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy and Ireland, as well as new Chinese cinema.
Films with environmental topics will be a highlight, echoing World Expo Shanghai's theme "Better City, Better Life." These films include veteran French director Jacques Perrin's latest sea-life documentary "Oceans" and the Luc Besson-produced "Home," which uses aerial photography from 54 countries to demonstrate the interconnections among the world's problems.
Two highly anticipated films will make their Chinese premiere at the festival: Besson's 12th feature film, "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec," and the spy-thriller "Shanghai" starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li.
The eight-day festival begins tonight (Saturday) when more than 300 stars and celebrities will walk down the red carpet for the opening at the Shanghai Grand Theater.
The Golden Goblet Awards will be handed out on the last day while film salons and workshops will feature industry experts discussing new-media movies and collaborations between Hollywood and Chinese cinema.
This year's festival has drawn a record 2,327 entries from 81 countries and regions competing in various categories for a Golden Goblet, according to Tang Lijun, an official with the film festival.
Sixteen films have been selected for best film, including Italian director Gabriele Muccino's "Kiss Me Again," Canadian film maker Leo Pool's "The Last Escape" and two Chinese productions "Deep in the Clouds" by Liu Jie and "Ocean Heaven" by Xue Xiaolu.
The seven-member jury will be chaired by Hollywood-based director John Woo. Members include Chinese film maker Wang Xiaoshuai, Israeli director Amos Gitai and American director, producer and scriptwriter Bill Guttentag.
Ten films are in the running for the Asian New Talent Award to support promising young directors. The films include Japanese production "Cast Me If You Can" by Atsushi Ogata, South Korean film "Goodbye Mom" by Jeong Gi-hun and two Chinese movies: Yang Rui's "Crossing the Mountain" and veteran actress Jiang Wenli's directorial debut "Lan."
Experts will brainstorm about this partnership in the new cinema world shaped by "Avatar" and "2010" and discuss the way forward now that China has become one of the world's major movie markets.