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BJ Fest firms up selections

The Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) has announced the full line-up of titles to play in its fourth edition, as well as the entries selected in competition for the Tiantan Awards, whose motto and guiding principles are “Beauty in Variety, Harmony in Diversity”.

The latest announcements complete a total count of 282 films, 176 of which play in the Film Panorama. The festival received 837 submissions from 88 countries. Unlike most festivals, the BJIFF programme contains several local titles which have already completed theatrical releases in the country, including Blind Detective, Drug War, Finding Mr. Right and Man of Tai Chi.

The festival opens with Christophe Gans’ Beauty and the Beast, starring Lea Seydou, best known internationally for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and Cannes winner Blue Is the Warmest Colour.

Beauty and the Beast: Are you sure this is the way to Tianenmen Square?

Beauty and the Beast: Are you sure this is the way to Tianenmen Square?

The competition line-up for the Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Awards is strongly Asian in flavour with Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster, Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo and Australian Kim Mordant’s Laos-set The Rocket all named in a 15-strong line-up.

A dozen NZ titles were named last month to play in the biennial NZ Film Festival in China, which will have its Beijing outing under the BJIFF umbrella. Six NZ shorts play, with features Eternity, Fantail, Giselle, Mt Zion, UTU Redux and The Weight of Elephants.

Eternity has previously screened in China as an official selection in the Shanghai IFF last June.

In contrast to its opening edition, the fourth edition of the BJIFF now has a number of very public-friendly events and screenings, including the family-focused CARNIVAL, with major input from Disney, Marvel and Hasbro’s Transformers brand.

BJIFF’s industry-focused market includes forum sessions Summit on the Beauty of Film, addressing various aspects of animation; the Forum on Film Creativity, featuring the festival’s major international guests; and the obligatory conference session on co-production.

The Beijing International Film Festival runs 16 – 23 April.

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