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IFFAM: Macao Festival Jury Looking for Asian Qualities

Jury members of the inaugural edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao said bringing Asian perspectives to a global audience will be among their top priorities besides debating which titles will win the top awards.

The five-member jury led by jury president Shekhar Kapur met the media yesterday at the Macau Cultural Centre ahead of the opening of the festival later in the evening. The “Elizabeth” director said that, despite his career in the West, he was excited about taking part in a new film festival in Asia.

“Storytelling in Asia has its own perspective,” said Kapur. “Many Asian films don’t get distributed. Theatrical distribution is difficult, but with a changing distribution model and availability of OTT platforms, we are open to more international perspectives.”

Joining Kapur on jury duty are Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan, Japanese actress and writer Makiko Watanabe, and Giovanna Fulvi, festival programmer and head of acquisitions for Italian distributor Filmauro.

The festival is organized by Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association and the Macao Government Tourism Office. It is part of the local government’s initiative to promote the former Portuguese colony as a center of tourism and leisure.

Kwan, who shot the Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui romance classic “Rouge” in Macau 30 years ago, said although the Macau government has been taking a strong lead in cultivating arts, culture and entertainment, the city is “too tame” to produce exciting projects.

“You need to be a little rebellious to produce interesting projects. I hope the international films featured in the festival will give audience an inspiration,” said Kwan.

The jury will be examine 12 films in competition for ten awards. The prizes will be presented on Dec.13. Fulvi said she will choose a film that she could connect with.

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