×

Shanghai: Sonthar Gyal Says Festival Jury Has Role in Discovering Talent

Director Sonthar Gyal has a long history with the Shanghai International Film Festival, where he is a jury member this year. His directorial debut, “The Sun Beaten Path,” participated in the Asian New Talents section in 2011, as did his second film, 2015’s “River.” His third, last year’s “Ala Changso,” won the grand jury and best screenplay awards. “I have a deep relationship with the Shanghai festival – it facilitated my growth over the years as a director,” he said.

This summer, Gyal is back judging the short film section. In conversation with Variety on the sidelines of the festival, he emphasized how important it was to approach the job with a sense of responsibility and sincerity.

“In one’s youth, everyone has dreams but is very confused and lost, asking themselves, ‘Am I actually suited to being a director or not? What do I actually want to do? What am I good at?’ In filmmaking, knowing yourself is very important,” said Gyal.

“When mature directors shoot a feature and make some mistakes or come out with something not so great, it’s okay, because it’s already their profession. But for a young person, you have to be very careful and sincere in how you approach them.

“If you give young artists a bit of hope, then they can really develop, and perhaps find the confidence to go on to shoot a first feature. Young people really depend on something to inspire that confidence.”

Although Gyal thinks the Chinese entries this year are slightly weaker than those from other countries, he said he feels it is his role as a jury member to discover sparks of something special hidden within even mediocre works that might indicate a talent waiting to be coaxed out of its shell. “These are things that you can’t learn in school, that maybe you can’t even discover on your own — but when someone else points them out to you, it could be the thing that really sets you down the path” of becoming a director, he said.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content