Mike Tyson and Jeffrey Katzenberg were among the foreign celebrities on hand Saturday at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Jackie Chan and Fan Bingbing were among the biggest local names.
Tyson has a guest appearance in upcoming Chinese martial arts biopic “Ip Man 3,” while Katzenberg is a regular visitor to the city and has a local business joint venture in Oriental DreamWorks.
The 18th edition of the festival runs June 13-21 at a festival center controlled by Shanghai Media Group, the adjoining Crowne Plaza hotel, and at venues around Shanghai, China’s business capital. The opening ceremony was held at the Lyric Theater, downtown.
Organizers promised 400 stars on parade. Chinese and regional talent on the walkway included Aaron Kwok, Donnie Yen, Eddie Peng, Simon Yam and Thailand’s Tony Jaa. Directors present included Chen Kaige, Raymond Wong, Dante Lam, Japan’s Shunji Iwai and Derek Yee, director of the festival’s opening film “I Am Somebody.”
Yee’s delegation was the largest – and the first to arrive. “Somebody” recounts the activities of film extras from the Hengdian Studios, and he brought with him more than a dozen little known performers.
Popular on Variety
On a fashion note, elegance was the key for the women, while the men were either business formal or brazen. Gone were the previous year’s transparent layered look. In, instead, were frocks that were longer and fuller, some nevertheless revealing daringly deep slits. There were more pastels and embroidered and printed floral touches decorated many of the gowns. Many of the men appeared to be peacocks, with Aaron Kwok donning a sensational hand painted jacket. Action star, Donnie Yen played it super cool with a sharply cut two piece suit in bubble gum pink.
Executives on the red carpet included: Bona Film Group’s Yu Dong, Wanda Pictures’ Jerry Ye, LeVision Pictures’ Zhang Zhao, Emperor Motion Pictures’ Albert Yeung and Albert Lee, Nansun Shi, Heyi Pictures’ Allen Zhu and Seven Stars’ Bruno Wu.
While Korean executives and film makers had been urged by the festival to stay away because of the MERS outbreak – and all festival attendees were handed a health note on arrival – one Korean was given room on stage, Kim Hee-jai, the screenwriter who is on the main jury.