×

Shanghai Festival Defies Gloom to Open on Upbeat Note

The Chinese film industry may not yet have emerged from a “cold winter” production freeze, nor its box office kept pace with 2018. But but those inclement elements did not put a chill on the pageantry at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The opening ceremony for the festival’s 22nd edition went ahead Saturday with the usual red carpet parade, and with the habitual speeches and formalities. But it did so without the scheduled world premiere screening of Guan Hu’s “The Eight Hundred.”

News that the historical war film had been cancelled “for technical reasons” was abruptly circulated just 24 hours earlier — too late for the festival to arrange another new film to take its place. The screening of the second opening film, Chinese drama “Beautiful Voyage,” went forward as planned.

The usual inclement seasonal weather, known locally as “plum rains” held off, permitting a red carpet parade that showcased mainland and Hong Kong stars, top local film makers, and the international jury, headed by Turkey’s much decorated auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Officials, jury members and stars were called on to praise the festival and its achievements.

The Shanghai Intl Film festival has become “a calling card for the city of Shanghai” and “one of the most influential film festivals in Asia” said Ying Yong, Mayor of Shanghai

“When I look at the previous presidents, it’s a rich history of film, and the great achievements they’ve made in film history and the artistic life they’ve given to the Golden Goblet trophy make me feel really honored,” said Ceylan.

Top Chinese actress Tang Wei as well as stars Shu Qi and Lu Han, who star together in the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster”Shanghai Fortress,” were on hand to present a medley of trailers for the competition films. “After shooting Shanghai Fortress, whenever we come to the city we feel quite emotional and like we should be on a mission,” joked Lu. Other presenters included Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior II”), while Zhang Ziyi (“House of Flying Daggers”) graced the stage in a white gown to present her new film “The Climbers.”

Earlier, the team from “Wild Goose Lake” including actor Liao Fan and Gui Lun Mei were red carpet rock stars. They performed the film’s dance routine on the runway to the tune of “Rasputin.”

Bona Film Group founder and chairman Yu Dong brought with him the biggest entourage of the evening, including producers and talent from two of Bona’s upcoming movies: “The Rescue” and “The Bravest.” “Rescue” director Dante Lam and producer Cindy Leung accompanied star Eddie Peng.

Others on the carpet included producer Terence Chang, “Skyfire” actress Hanna Quinlivinn, producer Ellen Eliasoph, Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung, and actress and Shanghai festival juror Zhao Tao.

b

More Film

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Beyonce poses for photographers upon arrival

    Beyoncé Releases Music Video for 'Spirit,' Her 'Lion King' Soundtrack Contribution

    Beyoncé fans are stampeding across the web veldt to get a look at her just-released music video for “Spirit,” the original song she co-wrote and sang for the “Lion King” soundtrack. The track is also included on the companion album she executive-produced and will release Friday, “The Gift.” Clips from the computer-animated film are interspersed [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Jennifer Lopez Takes Down Wall Street Crooks in New Trailer for 'Hustlers'

    According to Jennifer Lopez, basic pole dancing movements all revolve around a few foot positions. But as she tells her stripper student Constance Wu, it’s not just about the dancing. In the new trailer for “Hustlers,” Lopez and Wu swindle a number of high profile Wall Street clients in an effort to bring their white [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Leaders Warn Members About Contact With Fired Agents

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are warning members about being contacted by their former agents — asserting that such efforts are an attempt to undermine the WGA and its members. The missive, sent Tuesday from the WGA negotiating committee, came with the guild in a bitter three-month standoff with talent agents that appears [...]

  • Apollo 11

    Film News Roundup: 'Apollo 11' Re-Release Set for Moon Landing Anniversary

    In today’s film news roundup, Neon is re-releasing “Apollo 11”; “Sesame Street” gets moved; “Supersize Me 2” is set for Sept. 13; Will Ropp gets a “Silk Road” deal; and Apple makes a movie deal. RE-LAUNCH Neon will re-release Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary “Apollo 11” in theaters on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Michael B. Jordan's 'Just Mercy' Moves to Awards Season Slot

    Michael B. Jordan’s upcoming legal drama “Just Mercy” has been shifted forward three weeks from Jan. 17 to Dec. 25 for an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release. “Just Mercy” is based on the case of Walter McMillan, an African-American death-row prisoner who was exonerated in 1993 after being convicted five years earlier for a 1986 murder in [...]

  • Harry Styles to Play Prince Eric

    Harry Styles in Talks to Play Prince Eric in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Harry Styles is going under the sea. The former One Direction frontman is in early negotiations to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content