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Film event fosters cultural cooperation

By ZHANG KUN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-17 08:57
Xia Boyu (center), a Chinese mountaineer who lost his legs four decades ago while climbing Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West, attends the opening ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival on Saturday with crew members of the movie The Climbers. The film is based on the story of China's national mountaineering team and Xia's personal experience. [Photo/Xinhua]

The 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival, one of Asia's largest, opened on Saturday with more than 3,900 films from 112 countries and regions competing for Golden Goblet awards.

Fifteen films, including three in Chinese, have entered the final competition for the Golden Goblet Award for fictional feature films.

More than 500 films from around the world will be projected in 47 cinemas throughout the city during the festival, which ends on June 24.

The Shanghai International Film Festival has become a major scene of international communication in film, said Shen Haixiong, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. It has held its position as a leading event in the Asian film scene and "has presented outstanding achievements of the Asian film industry, while providing fresh enrichment to Shanghai culture".

The festival has also brought opportunities to further develop the Belt and Road Initiative, Shen said at Saturday's opening ceremony.

The Belt and Road Film Festivals Alliance announced the launch of the Belt and Road Film Week on Saturday, and eight films will be projected and compete for the Belt and Road Film Awards.

The film festival alliance received seven new members this year and now consists of 38 festivals and institutions from 33 countries, according to Fu Wenxia, executive secretary-general of the organizing committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The alliance will help filmmakers from Belt and Road countries gain access to China's film market by facilitating communications with Chinese buyers and filmmakers, Fu said.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a Turkish film director and screenplay writer with multiple awards from the Cannes International Film Festival, is the chairman of a seven-member jury of the Shanghai film festival.

"I have been interested in Chinese culture for a long time," Ceylan said on Sunday, adding that he has been particularly impressed with films by Chinese director Jia Zhangke.

Ceylan has been to Chinese cities such as Beijing and Xi'an, Shaanxi province, which for him are more "the real China" than Shanghai.

A film festival is important to a city because people can see the diversity of the cinema, and the experience will change their vision, he said.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, the festival will present a special unit showcasing films that reflect China's development over the past 70 years.

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