Film festival's new jury members discuss trends, art and inspiration
This year’s Golden Goblet Award jury panel is headed by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu whose feature “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and European Film Academy awards for Best Film and Best Director.
This year’s Golden Goblet Award jury. Pic by Zhang Ruiqi
By Liza Li
Mungiu noted at yesterday’s new jury press conference at the ongoing 20th Shanghai International Film Festival that he likes to be surprised and see some honesty in nominated films.
“Film can be a very manipulative art and is very complicated. I want people to impress me and generate a lot of feelings by using very simple cinematic means,” he said.
The director said he believed that sharing information with others about films and the cinema is a way for opinions to be better informed.
Another Jury member, American/Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski, said films and stories often give structure and meaning to lives and he’s looking forward to discovering great works of art at the festival.
Manchevski's feature “Before the Rain” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1994 and has won more than 30 awards at international film festivals internationally.
Also joining the jury is Gary Michael Walters, American producer and CEO of Bold Films. He said that as China is already the second largest film market in the world, it is a source of inspiration for global cinema.
The jury panel also includes Chinese director Cao Baoping, Chinese screenwriter Li Qiang, Japanese director SABU and Chinese actress Xu Qing.
Iikka Vehkalahti, president of the documentary film jury panel, praised SIFF for paying attention to the genre despite documentaries not having the same influence as blockbuster films.
He said there was noticeable growth in the number of Chinese documentary filmmakers and growing interest in their products.
Vehkalahti is a winner of the Doc Mogul Award from the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. He has been on the juries of several festivals and led film workshops and master classes around the world.
He is joined on the jury by Japanese documentary filmmaker and producer Kazuhiro Soda and Chinese documentary director Du Haibin.
“I believe documentary and fiction films should be treated equally in the cinema," said Soda who suggests people should equally enjoy the two genres.
"The documentary section in Shanghai offers great potential to blur the boundary with fiction and I look forward to seeing the five nominated films.”
The animation jury president is American producer and director Tony Bancroft who was co-director of Disney’s animated feature film “Mulan” and is a winner of the Annie Award for Director of the Year from ASIFA-International. His “Stuart Little 2” won the Visual Effects Society Award for Best Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture.
Bancroft is joined by Japanese animation director Junji Kobayashi and Chinese screenwriter and animation producer Yuan Mei.
Yuan, whose “Happy Stuff” has reached 360 episodes and won more than 20 domestic and foreign awards, said a generation shift is happening in the Chinese animation film industry. He said more mature audiences are visiting cinemas to watch animations since “Monkey King: Hero is Back.”
This year’s Golden Goblet Award will be chosen from 14 feature films, five documentaries and five animation films. The awards will be made on June 25.