Mirren, Hackford to attend Chinese fest
SHANGHAI — “Man of Steel” helmer Zack Snyder and Superman himself Henry Cavill will feature among an impressive roll call of overseas bizzers attending the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival as the tentpole attraction makes its Chinese bow at the fest.
The pic preems on June 19, one day before pic’s mainland China release, making it the first Hollywood film during the summer session as well as the only major Hollywood pic to secure a June screening slot.
Organizers said Hong Kong helmer Tsui Hark would receive an Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Film award at the fest’s opening ceremony on June 15.
“In the past 30 years Tsui Hark has constantly added new ideas, thoughts, styles and technologies to his films, injecting fresh vitality and constantly rewriting Chinese cinema history,” they enthused.
While China is a communist country, Shanghaiese were still excited at the prospect of the arrival of “cinema royalty” with confirmation that thesp Helen Mirren, who has played both Queen Elizabeths — Elizabeth I and the current one, and her helmer husband Taylor Hackford will be in attendance.
Two of their films, “Hitchcock,” starring Mirren as the helmer’s wife Alma, and Hackford’s “Parker,” will be screened during the fest.
Hackford will attend the opening ceremony in his role as president of the Directors Guild of America.
Mirren will be a special guest at the Hitchcock movie screening at Shanghai Film Art Center, and also will attend a media briefing on June 19.
Shanghai auds are enthusiastic cinemagoers, and the SIFF offers an opportunity to see films that they wouldn’t normally see, and ticket sales for this year’s fest are up 20% on last year.
Among the fastest sellers were “Shoah,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Within four hours of starting sales, 60,000 tickets had been sold by the 26 cinemas appointed to screen movies during the fest, which marks a rise of 20% on last year.
Organizers may have to set up additional screenings to meet demand.
There is a special program of IMAX movies, including the second and third instalments of the “Transformers” franchise, “Life of Pi” and “Inception.” A big draw in this section is the 3D version of “Top Gun.”
The fest runs June 15-23.