1st Beijing international film festival kicked off on Saturday

Updated: 2011-04-25 14:14


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1st Beijing international film festival kicked off on Saturday

Jackie Chan and Zhang Ziyi, image ambassadors for the 1st Beijing International Film Festival walk the red carpet at the festival's opening ceremony in Beijing's the National Center for the Performing Arts Saturday night, April 23, 2011.[Photo: CRIonline]

The first Beijing International Film Festival kicked off on Saturday night, April 23, with a star-studded red carpet walk and a grand opening ceremony at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Among the celebration were heavyweights from Chinese film industry like actor Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi, the festival's image ambassadors, and directors John Woo, Peter Chan as well as big names from key international film festivals like Marco Muller from Italy, Cameron Bailey from Toronto and Lee Yong Kwan from Busan.

Renowned director Darren Aronofsky from Oscar-winning film "Black Swan" and Rob Minkoff, helmer of "Lion King" and "The Forbidden Kingdom" also showed up for the spectacular gathering.

This event marks another world shaking event in Beijing after it successfully hosted the Olympic Games in 2008, and a big stride the modern metropolis has made to have the same influence in the world's cinema culture alongside sports.

As the culture center of China, the capital city produced the very first Chinese film "The Battle of Dingjunshan" in 1905 and takes up 50% in the country's film output, said Guo Jinlong, mayor of Beijing at the ceremony.

He noted Beijing gathers most of the resources in the country's filmmaking and distribution industry; and the festival aims to be a professional and high-level platform for the communication and cooperation between China and the world's films.

Marco Muller, director of Venice Film Festival, acquainted himself with the full house audiences with fluent Chinese. Marco said he already felt the aura of the festival and hospitality of Beijingers when his plane touched down. He spoke highly of the capital city and the film festival, saying "all of us can see and feel Beijing is well on the path to becoming one of the world's great modern metropolises," and "this event will enable the best from Beijing, from the region and from the world."

He added, the birth of BJIFF is a great event for the international film industry, and the latest outcome of communication and cooperation in world films.

The 1st Beijing International Film Festival plans no competition section while 100 foreign and 60 domestic films will be screened in 20 selected cinemas scattered all over the city, offering easy access to all moviegoers.

Actress Zhang Ziyi said on stage this is her favorite film festival, because there's no competition, no winner, no loser, only beautiful films." The film festival opens amid people's great confidence and enthusiasm to showcase the excellent homegrown movies to the outside world. It has scheduled events like Beijing film panorama, director forums, Beijing film marketing negotiation, film music concerts and contest for best documentary short in the upcoming six days, providing an extensive platform for movie makers, buyers, and distributors from China and the world.

During the opening ceremony, ten domestic films with successful box office receipts last year were honored, including Aftershock, Confucius, Bodyguards and Assassins and Ip Man 2.


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