The Belt and Road Film Tour | SIFF Asian New Talent Awards Nominator THE FOURTH WALL Honored Bronze
On the evening of November 29, the 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) concluded in Egypt. The Chinese film THE FOURTH WALL, also the nominator for Asian New Talent Awards at the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) in 2019, was honored the Bronze Pyramid Award for Best First or Second Work at the International Competition of CIFF. This is also regarded an achievement giving credit to SIFF’s program – the Belt and Road Film Tour this year.
On November 24, THE FOURTH WALL held its international premiere at the Cairo Opera House, the main venue of CIFF this year. The film tells the story of a deer breeder played by LIU Lu who suddenly finds another self in a parallel world. To seize the opportunity of reconciling with herself, her family, and the world, she doesn’t hesitate to face again the suffering she had 20 years ago... The film was well received among the local Egyptian audience. "I am particularly interested in the parallel universe in the film because it shows another possibility of life.” Lamia CHRAIBI, a producer from Morocco and also member of the International Jury for the CIFF 2019, said, “It is a work that evokes people’s thinking and discussion. I am highly concerned about the development of the Chinese film industry and look forward to talking with Chinese filmmakers."
At the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival this June, Ahmed SHAWKY, Artistic Director of CIFF, visited Shanghai to attend the Belt and Road Film Week as a representative of the member organizations of the Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance. As recommended by SIFF, Mr. SHAWKY watched a number of Chinese films and selected THE FOURTH WALL, which had its World Premiere at SIFF and was nominated for the Asian New Talent Awards, to participate in the main competition at the 41st CIFF.
Organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, the Cairo International Film Festival is the only international non-specialized competitive film festival in Africa. From November 20 to 29 this year, CIFF screened a total of 153 films from 63 countries and regions, of which 35 premiered internationally or in Africa. In addition to THE FOURTH WALL, Chinese films SUMMER OF CHANGSHA and SO LONG, MY SON were included in the Critics Week Competition and Official Selection out of Competition at the festival, respectively. Member of Jury for the 21st SIFF Golden Goblet Awards & Chinese actress QIN Hailu, together with screenwriters, directors, and producers from the United States, Belgium, Mexico, Italy, Morocco, and Egypt, formed the members of the International Jury of CIFF this year. Ms. QIN told reporters in an interview that THE FOURTH WALL is a new work by an emerging Chinese director; the jury members and local audience liked it very much and were interested in Chinese movies as well.
The 21st Shanghai International Film Festival in 2018 saw the establishment of the Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance and the launch of the Belt and Road Film Week. As of September this year, the Alliance had expanded from 32 member institutions in 29 countries to 38 member institutions in 33 countries. On this basis, SIFF developed the Belt and Road Film Tour mechanism, which leverages the platform advantage of the Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance to support film screening, exhibition and display among alliance members. The Film Tour has not only expanded the exchange and cooperation on Belt and Road from a SIFF event to a year-round program, but also promoted Chinese films to “go global”, spreading Chinese culture and telling Chinese stories. For member countries, it is helping transform the exchange and mutual learning of film culture under the Belt and Road Initiative into tangible forces to drive the development of the film industry and enrich the cultural life of the audience in each country. Therefore, the Film Tour has been warmly welcomed and generated wide-ranging influences, attracting the participation of more and more film festivals.