The first film festival this week announced that it will be screened privately in China’s Qinghai province from July 26 to August 3 – indicating that movies will be open in at least part of the country by the end of the month.
This will make it one of the first festivals in the world since the coronavirus novel, and some of which did not have to cancel or change dates according to its original plan. FIRST follows at least two private-events: Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan (June 25 to July 11) and FID Marseille in France (July 7-13).
China’s showcase Shanghai Intel Film Festival was originally postponed from the slot during June. It is believed to be looking for a revival in late July, but these plans have not been made public.
The official selection of FIRST for the first feature film, eight documentaries and 13 shorts will compete for ten awards. About 60% of selections work first. On April 30, Beijing officially lifted its quarantine, the same day the competition was closed.
The jury will be led by Hong Kong-based producer and director Peter Chan, whose Chinese New Year’s volleyball blockbuster “Leap” saw its scheduled release in late January postponed indefinitely. He will be joined by prominent contemporary artist Cao Fei, actress Hao Lei (“The Palace of Summer”), director Zhang Ming (“The Pluto Moment”), nove panacea and screenwriter Liu Hang (Zhang Yimur’s “Xu Du”), film editor Kong Jingli, And sound editor Zhao Nan (“shadow” of Zhang Yimur).
The official selection includes the following thirteen feature films: “Slow Song” by Dong Jingi; “Harhu” by Mongolian director Bayanhexig; “Only You Alone,” by Chio Chi (2018 first selection “Mrs. Meli”); “Cafe with the Highway” by Shi Xiaofan; Gao Ming’s “Damp Season”, which was screened in Rotterdam as part of a selection of a bright future; Laila Zhuking Zia’s “Victim (s)”, starring Huang Lu (“Blind Mountain”) and being screened at the Udin Far East Film Festival; Xiao Ifan wrote “Jump over the Dragon Gate;” Wang Xiaojen’s “Love Poems”; ‘Lotus’ lost by Liu Shu; “Art is Dead,” Chi Zhou Shenggui; “A Year in Tibet” by Gao Xian; “Lee Brafeng Rust to Rust; And Gao Han’s “partner”.
It also includes the following eight documentaries: “Tough Out” by Xu Huizing (2012 indie doc “Mothers”, about village cadres who prey on young mothers who refuse to adhere to the only child policy); “Heart of a Sion” by Xu Weichao; “Daughter of Light,” by Tibetan Helmar Khashem-Gial; “Uncle Guo’s Dream Works” by Guo Shuang; Li Baojiu’s “It’s a very shawl pass”; Zhao Xu’s “Shape of the World,”; “The Lovely Widow and Her Annoying Son” by Wang Kai; And “His Land” by Ji Shuchang.
FIRST’s plans to move forward could certainly be derailed at the last minute after another sudden COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese authorities have proven that they are not ashamed to re-order cities and movie closures at the slightest sign of a resurgent coronavirus threat.
It will help, however, that the festival will be held on the Tibetan plateau in Jining, the provincial capital of the third tier, more intense than the first tier metropolis – especially since it has not been particularly badly affected by the Qinghai virus.
Chinese cinemas have been shutting down since late January, making it the longest theater closure ever in the country. Authorities recently said the movies could be re-launched in low-risk areas, although no local government green light has yet been required to do so.
This year, a total of 895 submissions were made to the local government-sponsored FIRST festival, of which 43 processors, including 1,003 features, 73 documentaries and 470 shorts, entered the trial.
Compared to last year, the number of Chinese deposits has dropped this year, falling below 700 for the first time in five years, and the number of local deposits has reversed a five-year long trend.
It’s not clear how much of this is due to COVID-19, the festival said in a statement. The number of submissions was the same as in December, January and February last year, but in March they dropped significantly.
“The number of feature-length films produced in February has declined sharply, indicating that the epidemic had a direct impact on production and post-production disruptions.” “On the other hand, the cancellation, suspension and digital transfer of international film festivals and the complete closure of cinemas across the country have affected plans to premiere films at festivals and online distribution.”