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Zhao Tao, Rajkumar Hirani Join Shanghai Festival Jury

Italian director Paolo Genovese and Chinese actress Zhao Tao are among members of the jury for the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival. They join the previously announced jury president, 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish director behind last year’s “The Wild Pear Tree.”

Genovese’s 2016 film “Perfect Strangers” made $7.7 million at Chinese theaters last year, while “Kill Mobile,” its Chinese remake, made $92.7 million a few months later.

Joining them in judging the 22nd SIFF Golden Goblet Award will also be Russia’s Aleksey German Jr. (“Dovlatov”), India’s Rajkumar Hirani (“3 Idiots”), Mexican producer Nicolas Celis (“Roma”) and Chinese actor Wang Jingchun (Wang Xiaoshuai’s Berlin-premiering “So Long, My Son”). The documentary film section will be headed by Russian director Viktor Kossakovsky (“Aquarela“), accompanied by jury members Zhou Hao (“The Chinese Mayor”) and Dutch producer Isabelle Arrate Fernandez.

Irish director Tomm Moore (“The Breadwinner,” “The Secret of Kells”) will lead the animation jury, while American director Raul Garcia (“Extraordinary Tales”) will preside over the short film competition, alongside jury members Leonel Vieira of Portugal and Tibetan director Sonthar Gyal.

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The government-affiliated festival is insistent in its statements on its political bonafides, mentioning without fail the fact that this year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the lead-up to the festival’s 22nd iteration, which takes place this year from June 15-24, it “earnestly studied and implemented the spirit of the General Secretary Xi Jinping’s keynote speech” from a recent political conference that brought together Asian countries from the region.

Nearly 50% of the films submitted to the festival hail from countries involved in Xi’s “Belt and Road” global infrastructure project, it said. More than 83% of the 64 or so countries participating in the infrastructure initiative submitted works.

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