Show the "Shanghai Plan" of Holding the Film Festival to the World Overview of the 23rd SIFF
After the prevention and control on the COVID-2019 epidemic entered the normalization stage, the "5.5 Shopping Festival" was launched on May 5 in Shanghai, to stimulate the physical consumption by the online conduction promotion, and motivate the city's consumption potential; after that, the "Shanghai Nightlife Carnival" was launched in June, to show the city's vitality of nightlife, and create an urban image of fashion and international style. With the reopening of theaters and cinemas in succession, the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) had been held successfully from July 25 to August 2, which further sent a signal that people's cultural enthusiasm is being released, urban life gradually returns to normal, and the Chinese film industry has taken a new development step. Under the special era background of preventing and controlling the COVID-2019 epidemic with full efforts, the 23rd SIFF in 2020 has shown a "Shanghai Plan" of holding the film festival to the global film industry and audiences. Therefore, this SIFF was very special and unforgettable.
Ensure the security for watching a film, and link a better life
Over the years, the films played at the SIFF for the public have won a good reputation among all film fans across the country and Shanghai citizens. Under the weight of difficulties from the COVID-2019 epidemic, based on the philosophy of "the people’s cities are built by the people and for the people”, under the premise of strictly implementing epidemic prevention and control measures, with the idea of innovation and integration, the SIFF tried to transform the playing mode, and play the films for the public at the cinemas, open-air spots, and online, to share the achievements of Chinese and foreign film culture with the public.
The opening day of the SIFF was just the first day for reopening of cinemas across the country. Two great events happened on the same day, which sent a signal that the Chinese film industry has taken its first step for redevelopment since the outbreak of the COVID-2019 epidemic, and immediately set up a hot topic of discussion, and has attracted great attention from Chinese and foreign media. On that day, the film tickets were almost sold out within two hours, and the staff quickly negotiated with domestic and overseas film producers for authorization to increase the playing sessions of films. However, the film tickets for more than 80 sessions of films for extra playing were also sold out in seconds. It's very obvious that people's enthusiasm for watching films has been fully motivated.
This SIFF has adopted epidemic prevention and control measures, with a ticket booking rate of 30% for each session of film, and no more than 4 sessions per day in each screening room. Although the number of cinemas had decreased, the playing number of Chinese and foreign films was up to 322, including 232 films for world premiere, international premiere, Asia premiere and China premiere. During the SIFF, there were 1146 sessions of films played at 29 cinemas, with the number of audiences up to 147,502. Among all the audiences, Shanghai audiences took up 71.3%, followed by Hangzhou of 3.4%, and Beijing of 3.0%. In terms of the age of audiences, the "post-90s" aged between 20 and 29 took up 56.8%, becoming the absolute main force of the audiences.
Different from the previous watching process, this SIFF made a deep impression on the audience. The ticket-grabbing speed, body temperature measurement and presentation of health code for entrance, wearing of masks when watching films, provision of standby masks and hand sanitizers at the entrance of the cinema and the like all have become special marks engraved in the mind of each audience. Even audiences from other places outside Shanghai also understood that the purpose of taking these prevention and control measures by the SIFF that is building a platform for more people to link a better life is just to hold the film festival safely and let the film fans watch at ease. Therefore, although the audiences may feel a little trouble, they all understood and supported the implementation of these measures. In this regard, the head of the SIFF Organizing Committee said with deep feeling: “The safe and successful holding of this SIFF is inseparable from the efforts of front-line cinema staff, and the understanding and support of film fans. I hereby express my heartfelt and sincere thanks to them!"
The number of audiences watching films at the cinema this year was only one-third of that last year, but many citizens found that it's more convenient for them to watch films due to the launch of new open-air mode at the beginning of film festival. Starting from July 25, open-air films were played at Xintiandi Shanghai, Songjiang Mediterranean, Daning Music Plaza, and Global Harbor, etc. seven business areas during the film festival, and some films will continue to be played until the end of the TV festival. Starting from July 27, the screens at 36 communities in Pudong New Area were also lit up, and a series of films recommended by members of the “Belt and Road” Film Festival Alliance attracted and took the audiences to the “Midsummer Film Night”, to light the nightlife of Shanghai. Even in the open-air spots, strict prevention and control measures have also been implemented, for example, no more than 100 seats in each spot, with a seat interval of more than 1 meter, body temperature measurement, presentation of health code for entrance, etc. According to the statistics, a total of 50 films were played at the open-air spots, with 147 sessions and 13,570 audiences.
Call of Resumption and Enabling the Development of Industry
Last year, a blueprint for building “five platforms” was drawn based on the formed development plan of Shanghai International Film Festival in combination with the construction of Shanghai International Film & TV Creation Center and further brand building of “Shanghai Culture”. One of the tasks is to build this only international certified Class A film festival in China into a boosting platform for Chinese film industry. Although the scale of the festival has been reduced due to the impact of the epidemic, the Film Festival insisted on breaking through the difficulties and uniting all forces to enhance the level of industrial development. A series of new policies, new projects, new plans and new works were introduced and launched on the platform of the film festival.
After releasing the Overall Conceptual Plan of Shanghai Science and Technology Film City and the version 1.0 of “Sixteen policies of Songjiang” last year, Songjiang District recently announced the new supporting policy of the version 2.0 of “Sixteen policies of Songjiang” with higher intensity and larger scope in order to creat a service environment with a good ecology for enterprises and the agglomeration effect of “People nearby are happy and far away are attracted”, and the supporting funds have multiplied. The new policies introduced also include: giving full play to the characteristics of the construction of Shanghai International Finance Center, trying to establish a “film completion guarantee” mode to provide financial service guarantee for investors and producers with the idea of innovating and stepping; making use of big data, multi-dimensional monitoring and other means to establish a release system for film and television industry competitiveness index, and improve the scientific and quantitative decision-making level of film and television enterprises, which is widely known by industry figures as the “trump card” to bail out the industry.
While launching “The Belt and Road” film week during the Film Festival, Pudong New Area has given full play to the geographical and environmental advantages of the international holiday resort, launched the sharing space of Pudong International Film & TV Industrial Park equipped with the whole process functional facilities for post-production of film and TV shows to attract foreign and Chinese film and television institutions to settle down. Pudong New Area also released the “2020 version” of film and television industry supporting policy to expand the scope and intensity of funding. Among them, there is not only the “Institution settlement funding” corresponding to “The Belt and Road” theme, but also the “Localized production subsidy” encouraging Sino-foreign cooperation, as well as the “Work creation and R&D” award promoting creation, the “Film & television publicity and exchange” subsidy helping film and television works “go out”. The series of new policies on film and television of Pudong New Area has enhanced the confidence of film and television institutions to get out of the plight of the epidemic. Sixteen “The Belt and Road” potential cooperative enterprises and key enterprises in the holiday resort signed contracts on the spot.
During the Film Festival, the “Chinese Film and Television Night” held in Xuhui Binjiang International Media Port is like a flame, arousing the enthusiasm of resumption of film and television industry. This live broadcast activity, organized by Shanghai Branch of China Media Group, presented a series of new film and television works that had not yet launched to the public in the form of “Excellent work recommenders + outstanding film and television works”. Chinese film crews, whose works had been listed on the official selection of the Golden Goblet Awards or Asian New Talent Award, also came from all over the country and appeared at the audience meeting and media meeting after the screening. The crew members told their shooting experience, expressed their creation feelings, and announced the schedule for the public release, conveying to the audience the fiery feelings of advancing despite difficulties and the positive signs of forging ahead of filmmakers.
Filmmakers at home and abroad Express Aspirations
Despite of the huge blow to the global film industry by the epidemic, events like the SIFFORUM and MASTER CLASS held at the Shanghai International Film Festival offline or online turned out to be warm, with the domestic and foreign filmmakers expressing and exchanging their feelings, suggestions, views and ideas. After attending the forums, we can feel that Chinese filmmakers have not stayed in the memories of major setbacks, nor have they painfully counted their losses and setbacks. Instead, they expressed how to turn crisis into opportunity, how to strengthen their unity, how to overcome difficulties, and how to undertake the responsibility and mission of promoting the development of Chinese films. The touching speeches expressed their aspirations of fearing no difficulties and facing the future, making the SIFFORUM full of inspiring positive energy. SIFFORUM has become a beautiful scenery of the Shanghai International Film Festival, which is building a platform for Chinese and foreign filmmakers to exchange ideas.
A large number of films, such as My Story with New China, delivered for the centennial founding of the Communist Party of China, My People, My Hometown and Getting Home at One O'clock with the theme of poverty alleviation and building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, The Revolutionary and Chen Wangdao, which presented the stories about Li Dazhao and Chen Wangdao, and Huoshenshan and The Doctors, which extended the lens to the anti epidemic battlefield, were announced during the communications among the people from various film organizations, making the film festival echoed with the notes of the main melody. Fu Ruoqing, general manager of China Film Co., Ltd. and chairman of Huaxia Film Distribution Co., Ltd., said that they had been working hard to create works during the epidemic period, such as Impasse directed by Zhang Yimou, the films themed at poverty alleviation, four films commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war to resist US aggression and aid Korea, films with the theme of Wuhan people's anti-epidemic efforts, and those commemorating the centenary of the founding of the party. He said that during the epidemic period, he firmly believed that cinemas would reopen one day, so he paid close attention to creation and preparation for screenings. "When it was announced that cinemas could resume, we immediately copied 35 films, distributed the hard disks to cinemas across the country, and allocated the keys. We also just rolled out 4 million viewing tickets of 100 million yuan, targeted at medical workers, and students who participated in the college entrance examination and high school entrance examination. "
Wang Jian'er, chairman of Shanghai Film Group, said that in order to cope with the epidemic, Shanghai Film Group initiated the establishment of a bailout fund of a billion yuan in March this year, to help enterprises tide over the difficulties. "We did not waste any time and have completed the '14th Five-Year Plan' of Shanghai Film Group in three months. 25 film and television projects were released during the film festival, including 12 feature films." Yu Dong, president of Bona Film Group, said: "The epidemic did not stop us, instead, it gave us time to prepare, polish and plan our creations." Cheng Wu, CEO of China Literature and Tencent Pictures, also pointed out that: "The epidemic provides us with an opportunity to reflect, accumulate and practice our internal skills." In their speeches, the filmmakers believed that the common experience of encountering the epidemic has resulted in more common topics among them. The Shanghai International Film Festival has created an opportunity for mutual communication, which urges all of us to unite and create better and more works, so as to meet the audience's demand after returning to work satisfactorily.
Famous Chinese and foreign lecturers at the MASTER CLASS include Chinese director Jia Zhangke, American screenwriter and producer James Schamus, French writer and director Olivier Assayas, Japanese directors Naomi Kawase and Hirokazu Koreeda, Filipino director Lav Diaz, etc. Except for Jia Zhangke, who came to Shanghai, the others all communicated with the audience online through social video platforms. They expressed their feelings about the "long-lost reunion" with their peers and fans at the Shanghai International Film Festival, and also introduced their experiences in film creation that did not stop during the epidemic. During this period, the famous Philippine director Lav Diaz overcame all kinds of difficulties and made a short film and a long film. He said to his Chinese colleagues in front of the screens: "Want to fight the epidemic? Go to make a movie." The writer and director Olivier Assayas said emotionally: "This year is a special year for every filmmaker and the Shanghai International Film Festival is a symbol of hope."
Chinese director Jia Zhangke not only attended the SIFFORUM and lectured at the MASTER CLASS, but also took his Seeing Nara Again to the screening, which was jointly supervised by Japanese director Naomi Kawase and him and directed by Chinese director Peng Fei. He said, "Shanghai Film Festival became the first internationally certified Class A film festival to be resumed since the outbreak of the epidemic, which reflects the remarkable achievements of the epidemic prevention and control in China. Shanghai International Film Festival has completed the preparation, screening and other work in such a short period of time, showing the resilience and industry spirit of Chinese filmmakers. It not only serves as a festival, but also allows us to encourage each other and to strengthen our confidence. We can do better when united! "
Successful Events on Online and Offline Efforts
Since the Berlin International Film Festival in February, almost all film festivals around the world have announced a postponement or cancellation. In the face of the epidemic, the Shanghai International Film Festival resolutely lived up to the spirit of "putting people's life safety and health first" and announced a postponement in May. Under the unified deployment and guidance of the national competent departments and superior departments, the curtain was finally lifted in July. Although the epidemic has temporarily blocked the gathering and communicating between Chinese and foreign filmmakers, it has also forced the festival to make a change from its traditional mode and to seek opportunities for innovation and breakthrough based on the Internet. In addition to launching online screenings and live broadcast of forums, this Festival also ran through the film market of Shanghai International Film Festival and the TV market of Shanghai TV Festival for the first time. All events were held online in the form of international film and television cloud market, which has produced unexpected effects.
The fundamental purpose of the film market is to serve the exchange, trade and friends-making in the film industry, and to promote institutional display and copyright trade. Last year, there were 580 exhibitors in the film market of Shanghai International Film Festival and the TV market of Shanghai TV Festival. This year, although the collection of international film and television cloud market was announced very late, it immediately aroused an enthusiastic response in the global film and television industry. In less than 10 days, more than 700 exhibitors applied for participation. Among them, overseas exhibitors from five continents accounted for more than 50% for the first time. Some overseas exhibitors indicated during their application that: "We don't need to carry the exhibition materials. The cloud market is multifunctional, low-cost and convenient, which fully reflects the efforts of the Shanghai International Film Festival to serve the exhibitors. This is a great 'Shanghai plan'."
On the page of the international film and television cloud market launched on July 31, the cloud exhibition, cloud negotiation, cloud events and cloud services are clearly presented. There are also five theme exhibition areas: the "poverty alleviation and striving to prosper" key play exhibition, the "China Theatre" theme exhibition, The Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance exhibition, the post production exhibition, and the Yangtze River Delta film and television base cooperation alliance exhibition. The Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance has been established for three years. It has been actively carrying out exchanges and mutual learning of film culture. Especially that the Shanghai International Film Festival, with this platform, brought the shortlisted films of SIFF Golden Goblet Awards and Asian New Talent Award to the film festivals of the institutional members in various countries through the Belt and Road film tour, which bridges people through the film culture. The alliance has expanded to 44 countries and 50 institutional members. In addition, the Yangtze River Delta film and television base cooperation alliance exhibition is also very eye-catching. Last year, on the first day of the film market of the film festival, a cooperation mechanism was established for the Yangtze River Delta film and television base. During the first half of this year, almost all the shooting bases were in a "halt" state, They were urged to adjust direction through thinking, and to find ways to provide better services for film and television shooting by further solidarity and cooperation. Consequently, under the background of deeply implementing the high quality development of Yangtze River Delta integration, the alliance was established and made its debut on the platform of the film and television cloud market.
According to statistics, from July 17 to August 1, the increment of microblog topics with the keywords "Shanghai Film Festival" and "Shanghai International Film Festival" was more than 300 million; the view counts of videos about the film on microblog exceeded 10 million times; the view counts of videos about the Shanghai International Film Festival on the official short video platform Kwai exceeded 120 million. A special column was set up for Shanghai International Film Festival in Himalaya, a cooperative audio platform, and SIFFORUM and other related audios have attracted more than 300,000 audiences in the first week after being launched. In addition, SIFFORUM has also received numerous likes on Central Video, Xuexi.cn, Wenhui APP, Youku, Tencent, Migu, BesTV, and other video platforms. These data indicate that in spite of the epidemic prevention and control measures such as limiting the flow of offline participants, Shanghai International Film Festival took advantage of the Internet to break through the limitations of the traditional festival, and obtained far more participants and extensive attention than ever before.
Take Responsibility for the Future by Nurturing Talents
This Shanghai International Film Festival has cancelled the awards, but the official films selected for the SIFF Golden Goblet Awards and the Asian New Talent Award were released, which is a recognition of the creative achievements of Chinese and foreign filmmakers in the past year. A number of world premiere films, such as Back To The Wharf, The Reunions and Seeing Nara Again, were delivered to the Shanghai International Film Festival for screening, which were well received by the audience. Without the gorgeous red carpet, the Chinese and foreign filmmakers spent the "days on the cloud" together during the festival. The members of The Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance participated in The Belt and Road film week by pushing their works online and setting up cloud booths. Although the event scale has been reduced, no major sector activity is absent.
In recent years, Shanghai International Film Festival has taken the initiative to provide talents for the film industry, and has formed a step-by-step training mechanism targeted at the future. In the short video unit aimed to guide the new ones to enter the film circle, around the theme of "four minutes to gather image power", senior professionals were invited to act as tutors and to carry out face-to-face communications with the creators of excellent works, so as to let young film lovers have a glimpse of the path of the film industry during the question answering process. In the first half of this year, a video collection was initiated in Shanghai on the theme of "inspiring literary works". A number of excellent epidemic-themed works emerged, and their creators were invited to the short video unit site to be awarded. It also allowed the young students to have a deeper understanding about "people's literature and art is created by and serves the people".
For 14 consecutive years, venture capital of film projects has witnessed the preparation of creative texts, production and completion of 75 projects, some of which even won awards in film festivals at home and abroad and have produced a sound brand effect in the film industry at home and abroad. This year, film venture capital received 450 applications from nine countries. After selection, 39 projects stood out. From the first day of the film festival, the creators of the shortlisted projects have successively entered the stages of presentation, negotiation and preview. A total of 509 negotiations, three rounds of "projects in production" preview meeting, and 20 public statements have been completed. Project venture capital not only identified a number of excellent projects and talents through the collection, selection and evaluation, but also established a docking mechanism with the film industry to directly deliver the emerging excellent projects and talents to the industrial institutions, and to realize further financial support and film guarantee through negotiation.
In order to give more guidance and edification to the young filmmakers involved in venture capital, the festival also invited famous filmmakers such as Diao Yinan, Xu Zheng, Li Shaohong, Huang Bo and Song Jia to the youth film salon to have a dialogue with the young people who participated in the venture capital. Their earnest teaching, penetrating guidance and creative answers inspired and enlightened the young people who are interested in film creation. It can be predicted that in the future, people will be moved by the stories in the films, and the directors and actors of the films may become famous filmmakers. But who would have imagined that the film project venture capital has contributed to that silently for more than ten years?
The film media focus unit, which aims to promote new Chinese films and support young filmmakers, has not been interrupted since establishment in 2004. This year, the unit has been upgraded, relying on the selection through "special applet and APP". Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, Balloon, Jamila, White Sun, My Himalayas, etc. won various honors. The announcing ceremony was presented through television, Internet, mobile terminal, electronic screen, and cinema, realizing the integrated live broadcast in five channels for the first time.
On the last day of the Shanghai International Film Festival, Shanghai further implemented the concept of "the people's city is built by and serves the people", and launched the "Shanghai preferential film season". With "government subsidies and platform supporting", the measures of 32 million yuan subsidy for audience tickets and "10 yuan allowance for each film ticket" were implemented to benefit the people, which allows the film lovers to continue their exploration in the long river of Chinese and foreign film culture and to enjoy a better life after experiencing the wonderful Shanghai International Film Festival.