Beijing rolls out carpet for annual film festival

Updated: 2014-04-17 07:11

By Liu Wei (China Daily USA)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Hollywood's ties with the second-largest film market in the world were on full display on Wednesday, as the fourth annual Beijing International Film Festival kicked off in the capital.

Appearing on the red carpet were Alfonso Cuaron, director of Academy-Award-winning film Gravity, US director Oliver Stone, La Peikang, new head of China Film Group, and French director Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Cuaron's Gravity was one of the highest grossing foreign films in China in 2013, taking in 69 million yuan ($11.1 million). Annaud is making a co-produced film based on Chinese writer Jiang Rong's best-seller Wolf Totem.

Domestic filmmakers and stars, including John Woo, Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing, also attended the festival.

Leading industry figures such as Frederick Huntsberry, CEO of Paramount Pictures, Christopher Dodd, president of the Motion Picture Association of America and Peter Del Vecho, producer of the hit Disney animation Frozen, will speak at forums during the eight-day event on topics including co-production and film technology.

The MPAA will host a workshop between Chinese filmmakers and Hollywood industry leaders from Friday to Saturday. Past attendees, such as Xue Xiaolu and Wu Ershan, have become pillars of the industry.

A program for IMAX films will feature screenings of the Transformers movies, The Avengers and Gravity in 3D.

China has become the most important overseas market for Hollywood studios. According to a report by the MPAA, the 2013 box office revenue in the United States was $10.9 billion, compared to $10.8 billion in 2012. China last year saw a record 21.8 billion yuan in box office revenue, a 27.5 percent rise over 2012.

The winners of the second annual Tiantan Awards will be decided by a jury led by director John Woo, who is now making a wartime romance starring Zhang Ziyi and South Korean actress Song Hye-gyo.

Woo, working with Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta, French director Philippe Muyl, Chinese directors Lu Chuan and Ning Hao, Spanish producer Andres Vicente Gomez and Indian director Rajkumar Hirani, will announced the winners at the closing ceremony on April 23.

At last year's festival, 8.7 billion yuan in agreements were signed to invest in a total of 27 projects. That figure is expected to exceed 10 billion yuan this year, said Zhao Zhiyong, deputy-secretary-general of the organizing committee.

Founded in 2011 and backed by the Beijing municipal government, the festival is the first of its kind in the capital.

 Beijing rolls out carpet for annual film festival

Actress Zhang Ziyi walks the red carpet at the fourth Beijing International Film Festival on Wednesday. Jiang Dong / China Daily

(China Daily USA 04/17/2014 page4)