The 4th International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (referred to as "IFFAM" or the "Film Festival") was unveiled splendidly at the Macao Cultural Centre tonight (5th December). Held from 5th to 10th December, the Film Festival will screen 50 spectacular films and six short films for audiences to enjoy. Held for tourism industry professionals at home and abroad, the IFFAM Industry Hub will also unfold tomorrow (6th December) for three consecutive days.
About 800 personages marked their presence on the red carpet and gathered at the opening ceremony including Spouse of Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Winnie Fok; Assistant Director General of the Propaganda and Culture Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Shao Bin; Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; Gina Lei (on behalf of Executive Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Alvin Chau); President of Administration Committee on Municipal Affairs of Municipal Affairs Bureau and Executive Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, José Tavares; Vice President of Cultural Affairs Bureau and Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Chan Kai Chon; Council Chairlady of Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA) and Secretary General of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Alice Augusto; IFFAM Artistic Director Mike Goodridge; Head of Festival Management, Lorna Tee; IFFAM Head of Industry, June Wu, as well as internationally-acclaimed film directors, film stars and film industry professionals from around the world. Famous emcee Bob Lam and artist Candice Yu from Hong Kong are the hosts of the opening ceremony tonight.
Star-studded opening ceremony
The opening ceremony was graced by prominent figures including President of the Jury of International Competition, Peter Chan Ho-sun; members of the Jury of International Competition, Ellen Eliasoph, Dian Sastrowardoyo, Midi Z and Tom Cullen; the Jury of New Chinese Cinema including the President Cristian Mungiu and four other members – Kristen Tan; former Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Festival, Noah Cowan; Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, Tricia Tuttle, and Qiu Yang.
Festival Ambassador Kim Yong-Hwa, Talent Ambassador Kim Jun-myeon (SUHO), Actress in Focus, Zhou Dongyu, as well as Program Consultants including Fionnuala Halligan, Giovanna Fulvi, Hiromi Aihara, Maxine Leonard and Violeta Bava, were present at the grand occasion.
The guests coming from various film festivals around the world include Executive Director of Jerusalem Film Festival, Noa Regev; Director of London East Asia Film Festival, Hye-Jung Jeon; Founder and former Chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, Kim Dong-ho; Chairman of Malaysia International Film Festival and Malaysia Golden Global Awards, Joanne Goh Poi Leng; Deputy Artistic Director of Cairo International Film Festival, Ahmed Shawky; General Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Elise Jalladeau; Director of New Zealand International Film Festival, Marten Rabarts, and Director of Sydney Film Festival, Nashen Moodley, among others.
Other film industry figures include Hong Kong film directors Derek Tsang and Patrick Kong, famed Japanese director Shinobu Yaguchi, German actress and winner of the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, Barbara Sukowa, Japanese actor Akira Takarada, British actress Vicky Knight, as well as the crew and cast of the five films screened in the 20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations, namely Ina and the Blue Tiger Sauna, Let's Sing, Patio of Illusion, String of Sorrow and Years of Macao, among others. The above guests marked their glamorous appearance on the star-studded red carpet swarmed by over 100 journalists for coverage, filling the occasion with hustle and bustle.
In her address at the opening ceremony, MGTO Director and President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, remarked that since the Macao SAR was established, the diversified development has enabled Macao to progress steadily towards the goal to become a world centre of tourism and leisure through its strengths in various areas from tourism, leisure, culture, events, MICE to entertainment and more. Launched in 2016, the Film Festival enables Macao to present its unique charm to the world through the dazzling participation of film industry professionals from across the globe. Walking through a long history for over four centuries to become a melting pot of the East and West cultures, Macao coincides with IFFAM in terms of the vision to build a platform for cultural exchange across the East and West. Moving forward with the experience over the last three editions, IFFAM is gradually developed into an established event with its own orientation, unique characteristics and elements coming solely from Macao. The Organizing Committee truly hopes that Macao can deliver a positive impact as a melting pot in cultivation of the next generation of film directors and film talent in Asia, providing a key platform for filmmakers from worldwide to connect, exchange and build new partnerships.
The opening ceremony was officiated by Spouse of Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Winnie Fok; Assistant Director General of the Propaganda and Culture Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Shao Bin; President of the Jury of International Competition, Peter Chan Ho-sun; President of the Jury of New Chinese Cinema, Cristian Mungiu; Festival Ambassador Kim Yong-Hwa; Talent Ambassador Kim Jun-myeon (SUHO); MGTO Director and President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; Gina Lei (on behalf of Executive Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Alvin Chau); President of Administration Committee on Municipal Affairs of Municipal Affairs Bureau and Executive Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, José Tavares; Vice President of Cultural Affairs Bureau and Vice President of the 4th IFFAM Organizing Committee, Chan Kai Chon; member of the Administration Council of Macao Foundation, Eliza Ho; IFFAM Artistic Director Mike Goodridge, and the guests from various sponsoring entities, among other personages.
Vocal Force enlivens opening ceremony with radiant color
A video was shown to the guests in the opening ceremony to present the posters of all the films screened in IFFAM, followed by the melodic performance of Vocal Force in the style of popera (a new crossover genre combining pop music with opera and classical music). Vocal Force is a vocal pop music group coming from Shanghai, China.
Talent Ambassador Kim Jun-myeon (SUHO), Festival Ambassador Kim Yong-Hwa and Actress in Focus, Zhou Dongyu, were presented tokens of appreciation by the Organizing Committee during the opening ceremony. An introduction about International Competition, Chinese New Cinema and the jury for the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award was delivered with a spotlight on the lists of entries in these two major competition sections, showcasing the strong line-up of films this year.
Full house for opening film
Following the opening ceremony, the opening film Jojo Rabbit lifted the curtain on the Film Festival. The film enjoys wide popularity and tickets were quickly sold out for the film.
Confluence of entertainment, interchange and trade talks
The remarkable feature and short films are screened for the public through IFFAM's various sections including International Competition, New Chinese Cinema, Shorts Competition, World Panorama, Flying Daggers, Gala, Special Presentations, 20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations, Director's Choice and Macao Short Film Special Presentation, among other sections in the programme, besides the opening and closing films.
Starting tomorrow (6th December) until 8th December, the IFFAM Industry Hub will be joined by over 200 film industry professionals from close to 30 countries and regions. As part of the Industry Hub, the IFFAM Project Market will bring together 14 new film projects in search of investors, distributors or partnerships. A jury will select winners of the Best Project Award, Creative Excellence Award, Best Co-production Award and Macao Spirit Award among the film projects, to be unveiled in the Project Market Awards Ceremony on 8th December. Filmmakers are also invited to present their completed or soon-to-be-completed film projects in the Work-in-Progress (WIP) Presentation, which helps their projects seek partnership opportunities for post-production and so forth. In addition, the Macao Forum will offer a lively platform for multilateral exchange among film from_worldwide, facilitating sharing of viewpoints among participants on designated topics.
During the Film Festival, there will also be three other sessions with film heavyweights as follows: British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA): Masterclass with Lily James, Kim Yong-Hwa Masterclass and In Conversation with Juliette Binoche.
The Organizing Committee hopes that the Film Festival will contribute to the development of Macao's film, cultural and creative industries, as well as the tourism industry in the city and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the long run, in addition to raising the city's international profile and capabilities in organizing mega events, in parallel with Macao's vision to become a world centre of tourism and leisure.
For more information, please visit the website of the 4th International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao: http://www.iffamacao.com/