Opening Ceremony Focuses on Films, Filmmakers Express Love for Films
Opening Ceremony Focuses on Films, Filmmakers Express Love for Films
The 9-day 18th Shanghai International Film Festival was officially opened on June 13. This film festival gathered a lot of excellent shortlists and the opening ceremony also focused on the films. Lisa Lu, Chen Kaige, and Tong Dawei, the filmmakers of three generations expressed their love for films with emotion. Andrey Zvyagintsev, the Russian Director and Golden Goblet Jury President said in the opening speech,"I was lucky to choose films, or more broadly, art as my lifelong career because in an age like today, the physical world only exists temporarily and fades away quickly. But in the past or at present, only art is constant, permanent and especially important for us, no matter whether people have realized it or not.”
Filmmakers Express "Love for Films" with Emotion
The opening ceremony of the film festival was hosted by Yang Lan and Lin Hai. It focused on the films themselves and gave the floor to filmmakers, showing respect for the films and the filmmakers. Lisa Lu, Chen Kaige, and Tong Dawei, the filmmakers of three generations shared their stories with films respectively.
Lisa Lu said:"Every time I come back to Shanghai, I have a special feeling, especially today. Standing on the stage of the Shanghai International Film Festival opening ceremony, for a moment, I felt as if I were young again, recalling my days as the “Miss Earphone” with the Grand Theatre at 18 or 19. That job enabled me to set foot in films, even though I only worked at the backstage then and passed on the fun and emotions of films to the audience who loved films as much as I did by my voice."
Chen Kaige said:"Standing on this stage, I have a lot of feelings. It has been 30 years since I graduated from Beijing Film Academy. But for me, I felt as if it just happened yesterday. I'm grateful that I'm still able to shoot films personally 30 years after graduation and that I have the opportunity to dedicate my new film “Monk Comes Down the Mountain” to the audience and also the 110 anniversary of Chinese films. We've witnessed many changes and difficulties in the 110 years. Now I can't help recalling a novel I read in youth, in which a man tells another man,"If you agree to stay in this house for a certain period of time, you will get a large sum of money. And there’re many books in the house which can keep you company. And the door is open so that you can go back on your words and leave this house anytime. Of course, you won’t get that money if you do so.” After staying in that house for several years, the man opens up the door and leaves that house before the appointed date. What helps him figure out the puzzle and makes him out of the house in advance? I think it’s the books. The books open his eyes to see the outside world and tell him what a man should do. Now 30 years have passed, I think, maybe films have the same function of books. In the past 22 years, the Shanghai International Film Festival does only one thing, namely it tells the audience and us that the film is a gift which can make us better.”
Tong Dawei said,“This year marks the 120th anniversary of world films and the 110th of Chinese films. For limited life, 110 years may be too long, but the charm of films lies in that they can break through the limits of life and enable people to have different life experiences. Every new role is a start of new life for me since it allows me to experience a time and life that I have never experienced before. Therefore, I prefer those challenging roles. Although they are unfamiliar to me in the beginning, it is right the process from unfamiliarity to familiarity that makes films so charming. In my limited performing career, I am so lucky to have acted both in ancient and modern films. Thanks to films!”
The Jury President Addressed and Showed His Authority and Impartiality
As a guest performer, Leon Lai sang the song “The Fireworks for Two.” And Fan Bingbing, his partner in Lady of The Dynasty, also came on stage with well dress. Fan Bingbing said,“The Shanghai International Film Festival is a place where can get films from all over the world gather together, in where I can meet friends I haven’t seen for a long time and enjoy new films. It’s a big party for directors, actors, actresses and many other people.” And Leon Lai said,“The Shanghai International Film Festival is a very special and featured film festival, in where we can bring things of overseas countries in, and bring things of China out.”
Introduced by presenters, the Jury Panel consisting of the Golden Goblet Jury President, namely Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, Chinese director Cai Shangjun, Chinese actress Hao Lei, South Korean screenwriter Hee Jai Kim, French director Philippe Muyl, Chinese Hong Kong producer Shi Nansun, and American producer Ron Yerxa made their presence one by one.
Andrey Zvyagintsev addressed that,“On behalf of the Jury Panel, I’d like to thank you all for presenting at the opening ceremony of the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival. First of all, I’d like to give my gratitude to the organizing committee for giving me the honor to hold the post of the Jury President. I was lucky to choose films, or more broadly, art as my lifelong career because in an age like today, the physical world only exists temporarily and fades away quickly. But in the past or at present, only art is constant, permanent and especially important for us, no matter whether people have realized it or not. The reason why I speak in this way is that, I want to specially emphasize that we’ll make judgments upon all those entries of this film festival with the idea that it should be the art that prevails. Such an idea is very important in this day and age. Waiting for us, it’s a week which will make a profound impression to us and will be difficult for us to forget in a long time. I believe, when we come together again at the Closing Ceremony, we’ll be supported by sound reasons to congratulate each other on the gains we’ve got.”
The Jury Panel composed of many well-known directors and producers will choose the winning film of the Golden Goblet Award among 14 shortlisted films. Introduces by Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu and Chinese actor Wang Jingchun, trailers of 14 entries, namely Cake, Carte Blanche, The Dead End, La Duchesse de Varsovie, Jameh Daran, Journey to the Shore, Love in the 1980s, The Midwife, The Night Watchman, Salute D’Amour,TheShameless, Southpaw, Sunstroke, Where the Wind Settles, were played on the big screen. Wang Jingchun said,“Adhering to conscientiousness and focusing on humanity is always the principle of the Golden Goblet Award.” And Zhou Dongyu gave free rein to her imagination and said,“I hope someday I can also present at this stage.”
“Somebody” Opened the Film Festival
After the opening ceremony, I Am Somebody directed by Tung-Shing Yee was played as the opening film of the festival this year. And this screening is the world debut of it. This film talks about life and work of a group of extras working in the world’s largest film base, Hengdian. As the opening film, the Shanghai International Film Festival believes a story about Chinese filmmakers themselves in the current state will resonate with all those who love film.
On the scene, Tung-Shing Yee presented at the stage together with 21 “somebodies.” It’s the first time in the history of Chinese film that all cast and crew of a single film appeared at the stage of opening ceremony. Tung-Shing Yee said,“I believe every filmmaker starts his career in this industry with his dream. These youngsters standing behind me came to Hengdian from many different places of China and went through difficulties of reality and all kinds of hardships. I’m greatly moved by them, and I think they’re very brave. Shooting this film, I’d like to encourage those youngsters, who live and work in different major cities across China, to pursue their own dreams bravely.”
At that very moment, while well-known filmmakers from all over the world sitting in the audience,“somebodies” made their presence at the stage. One of them said,“In Hengdian, We always worked in the background before, just walking around or appearing in acrobatic fighting scenes. Today, with so many cameras focusing on us, to us everything is just like a dream, which we never want to see it end. It’s a great honor that we can have a chance to live in a dream about the film, and I wish we can continue living in it. Long live the film!”