Chen Kaige to lead TIFF jury

By NA LI in TORONTO | | Updated: 2017-08-10 05:40

Chinese film director Chen Kaige will lead a jury for the Platform Prize during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2017, running from Sept 7 to Sept 17.

TIFF unveiled its lineup of 12 films for this year's Platform programme last week. It included celebrated films such as William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth, Pablo Larrain's Jackie and Barry Jenkins's Academy Award Best Picture winner, Moonlight.

This year's lineup hails from eight countries on five continents. The films will compete for the Platform Prize, to be awarded by a jury comprised of award-winning filmmakers Chen Kaige, Malgorzata Szumowska and Wim Wenders.

Now in its third year, TIFF's Platform programme showcases original voices in contemporary cinema. In the past two years, the programme has presented the world premieres of Ben Wheatley's High-Rise, Eva Husson's Bang Gang and Martin Zandvliet's Land of Mine, which won an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

"Platform is the place to look for the distinct stamp of today's most interesting directors as they establish their reputations," said Cameron Bailey, TIFF artistic director. "It's important that the Platform jury also reflects original thinking in cinema. We're thrilled to bring together Chen Kaige, Wim Wenders and Malgorzata Szumowska, each one responsible for bringing visionary films into the world."

The programme will open with the world premiere of The Death of Stalin, from award-winning director-writer Armando Iannucci. The historical epic follows the final days leading up to the Soviet dictator's death.

Sweet Country, a period Western from acclaimed Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton, will close the Platform section.

"The films unveiled embody our bold vision for the programme, and our ongoing commitments to showcase artistic and inventive directors who fearlessly push boundaries," said Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF. "The twelve titles exemplify bravery, dynamism and a unique voice in storytelling that we look for when curating the Platform programme."

Platform titles are eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize ($25,000 CAD), made possible by Air France. The prize winner will be announced at the TIFF Awards Ceremony on Sept 17.

As a leading figure of the fifth generation of Chinese cinema, Chen won the first Palme D'Or for a Chinese language film at Cannes for his epic Farewell, My Concubine in 1993.

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