Shanghai Festival to Open With Film Industry Tribute ‘I Am Somebody’

Derek Yee’s tribute to cinema’s nameless extras “I Am Somebody” has been set as the opening movie of the Shanghai International Film Festival. The 18th edition of the event runs June 13-21.

The film festival will wrap with Ballet In The Flames of War,” a Chinese-Russian co-production co-directed by China’s Dong Yachun and Russia’s Nikita Mikhalkov.

Getting its world premiere at SIFF, “Somebody” is a comedy about the lives of extras based at the gigantic Hengdian World Studios, near to Shanghai. Hong Kong-based Yee said that everyone in the film industry has big dreams. He will be accompanied on the red carpet by Yu Dong, producer and founder of Bona Film Group, as well as a host of Hengdian extras.

“Ballet” is based on real events and recounts a Russo-Chinese love story that unfolded during World War II. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Action movie directors Renny Harlin, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen and Kang Je-gyu, and stars Jang Dong-gun and Tony Jaa are expected to join Jackie Chan, Andrew Lau, Bruce Law, Tony Ching, Yuen Wah, and Wu Jing, at the first edition of the “Jackie Chan Action Movie Week,” a new festival sidebar that runs June 14-18. The sidebar will showcase 25 films – old and new – at six cinemas across the city.

A first day forum on the action genre, also involving DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, will be followed by the world premiere of “SPL II: A Time For Consequences.” Director Cheng Pou Soi and stars including China’s Wu Jing, Thailand’s Tony Jaa, and Hong Kong’s Simon Yam are expected to attend.

The festival also announced the selection of 35 film projects for its SIFF Project market, its annual event matching independent film projects with finance, distribution and sales. Ten are from new directors, 25 from more established names. Director and producer Huang Jianxin is set as chairman of the judging panel for the youth films.
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