The 4th International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (referred to as “IFFAM” or the “Film Festival”) will be held from 5th to 10th December this year. The IFFAM Organizing Committee held a press conference today (5th November) to announce the line-up of around 50 films from the East and West this year, including those featured in International Competition, “20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations” as a special highlight of the 4th IFFAM, and other sections. To gain wider publicity for the event, Talent Ambassador Carina Lau came to Macao to mark her glamourous presence in the press conference.
Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Artistic Director of IFFAM Mike Goodridge, and Executive Vice President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee and President of Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA), Alvin Chau, attended the press conference together with others. In her remarks, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes emphasized that the Organizing Committee will continue to push forward the development of Macao’s film, cultural and creative industries, enhance exchange opportunities with international movies as well as unveil a wider landscape for development of cultural and artistic platforms, tourism and other fields through this edition of IFFAM. With the experience from the last three editions, the Organizing Committee will progressively shape IFFAM into a mega event established with its own positioning, unique characteristics and special elements of Macao. Over the years, the IFFAM teams have made unreserved efforts in delivering the best. In terms of film selection, two of the films screened in the past two editions of the Film Festival have garnered the Oscars for Best Picture in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The Committee hopes to cultivate a more profound level of appreciation towards international films among audiences in Macao by bringing together Chinese and Western movies of remarkable quality.
IFFAM Artistic Director Mike Goodridge expressed, “I am very happy how our programme has come together this year, and I can’t wait for the audiences of Macao to sample the many cinematic pleasures on offer. From our delightful opening film JoJo Rabbit to our wonderful international competition and our newly expanded New Chinese Cinema competition, we have a treasure trove of films to offer. Our programming team has been working non-stop all year round to select these titles and the around 50 films we are showing will bring a host of film-makers and special guests to present them. I am especially pleased that there are five new Macao features in the programme in this special anniversary year."
Opening movie won People's Choice Award in Toronto International Film Festival
Jojo Rabbit is a satirical black comedy film and a screen adaptation of Christine Leunens’ novel Caging Skies. The story is set against the backdrop of the Second World War, about a young German boy (portrayed by Roman Griffin Davis) in face of various disputes in the times of turbulence. The movie creates a humorous portrayal of solemn and sensitive issues through the eyes of a child, turning a hilarious black satirical comedy into life. The film was directed by Taika Waititi, whose other directed films include Thor: Ragnarok, What We do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Jury of International Competition includes prominent figures from film industry
The Jury of International Competition comprises a strong line-up of prominent heavyweights this year. Accomplished filmmaker, film director, producer and screenwriter Peter Chan Ho-sun is Jury President of the Competition. Since the 1990s, Chan has directed many critically-acclaimed films that also hit high box office records and garnered a range of film awards. Ellen Eliasoph has worked in the Chinese film industry for over two decades and has been a producer for many Chinese films including Shadow, directed by the globally-famed director Zhang Yimou. Indonesian actress Dian Sastrowardoyo is the winner of Best Actress Award in Deauville Asian Film Festival. Film director Midi Z from Myanmar has directed his latest film Nina Wu, nominated in Cannes Film Festival. Graduated from a drama institute, British actor Tom Cullen has won wide recognition for his acting performances and gained under his belt a series of accolades in various events including Nashville Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
New Chinese Cinema lines up eminent jury members
The Jury of New Chinese Cinema includes Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu as the President, and four other members as follows: Singaporean film director and screenwriter Kirsten Tan, Canadian film producer and former Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, Noah Cowan, Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, Tricia Tuttle, and Chinese film director, screenwriter and director of photography, Qiu Yang.
Cinematic feast for audiences
The Film Festival will screen an extravaganza of around 50 feature and short films from the East and West through various sections as follows: opening and closing films; three competition sections namely International Competition, New Chinese Cinema and Shorts Competition; six non-competition sections including World Panorama, Flying Daggers, Gala, Special Presentations, “20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations” and Director’s Choice, among other sections in the program.
The ten entries in the International Competition include Bellbird (New Zealand), Bombay Rose (India/ France/United Kingdom/Qatar), Buoyancy (Australia), Family Members (Argentina), Give Me Liberty (United States), Goldie (United Kingdom/France), Homecoming (Indonesia), Lynn + Lucy (United Kingdom/France), Two of Us (France/Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg) and Two/One (United Kingdom/Mainland China/ Canada), etc.
Another competition section, New Chinese Cinema, pits the following entries against each other: Better Days (Mainland China), Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (Mainland China), Lucky Grandma (United States), To Live to Sing (Mainland China/France), Wet Season (Singapore) and Wisdom Tooth (Mainland China), among other films.
20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations enriches IFFAM with local elements
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region, this edition of IFFAM will present a special section titled “20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations”. A selection of local films will be screened in this non-competition section, including Ina and The Blue Tiger Sauna, Let’s Sing, Patio of Illusion, Strings of Sorrow and Years of Macao, to bring outstanding local film productions into the limelight on the international stage, showcase the diverse dynamic of the cultural and creative industries in Macao and pay tribute to the city’s film industry professionals.
On the other hand, Special Presentations will include a drama film named A City Called Macau. Directed by Li Shaohong, the film unfolds its story against the backdrop of Macao.
International and professional teams
The international and professional teams of IFFAM include International Advisory, Programme Consultants, Festival Ambassadors and Talent Ambassadors, among others. Members of the Core Team include IFFAM Artistic Director Mike Goodridge, Head of Festival Management Lorna Tee and Head of Industry June Wu. Members of the International Advisory include Anupama Chopra (India), Luís Urbano (Portugal), Michael J. Werner (United States), Oh Jung-wan (Korea), Peter Loehr (United States), Philippe Carcassonne (France), Shen Yang (Mainland China) and Wang Ye (Mainland China). Program Consultants include Fionnuala Halligan, Giovanna Fulvi, Hiromi Aihara, Maxine Leonard and Violeta Bava. Karan Johar (India), Kim Yong-Hwa (Korea) and Wang Xiaoshuai (Mainland China) are Festival Ambassadors this year. Acclaimed best actress of Chinese films, Carina Lau, and famous Korean star Suho are Talent Ambassadors.
IFFAM will engage around 450 film industry professionals and media
From 6th to 8th December, the Film Festival will stage the IFFAM Industry Hub at the Macao Cultural Centre. 200 film industry professionals from 28 countries and regions will be invited to connect and explore partnership opportunities in the Industry Hub. One of the major highlights, IFFAM Project Market, will bring together 14 promising film projects for investors to learn more about through the presentations. For the Work-in-progress Presentations this year, filmmakers will be invited to present their completed or soon-to-be-completed film projects and join business matchmaking meetings. The programme aims to align these film projects with partnership opportunities, from securing funds for completion of filming and post-production, film distribution to screening in film festivals.
It is expected that 250 media entities from over 28 countries and regions will join the event. The Organizing Committee seeks to widen the coverage for IFFAM in both traditional and social media.
One of the selected film projects in IFFAM Project Market 2016, The Long Walk, participated in the Work-in-progress Presentations newly launched last year. The film production was later completed and will be presented to audiences in World Panorama, one of the non-competition sections, in this edition of IFFAM. The success of the film project proves the effective platform offered by the IFFAM Industry Hub for filmmakers and the advantages delivered by the Film Festival.
Ticketing starts tomorrow
Films in the IFFAM programme will be shown to the public at Macao Cultural Centre, Macau Tower, Cinematheque・Passion and Macao Old Court Building. Residents and visitors can buy the film tickets through www.macauticket.com starting from 6th November, or at the screening venues during the Film Festival.
For more details of the 4th IFFAM, please visit http://iffamacao.com/en/.