• Actress in Focus, Zhou Dongyu, on the IFFAM red carpet (Photo courtesy of the IFFAM Organising Committee)
  • Talent Ambassador Kim Jun-myeon (SUHO) attended the 4th IFFAM opening ceremony (Photo courtesy of the IFFAM Organising Committee)
  • The opening film Jojo Rabbit is a satirical black comedy film which set against the backdrop of the Second World War (Photo courtesy of the IFFAM Organising Committee)

Macao Rolls the Red Carpet for 4th IFFAM this December

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The 4th International Film Festival & Awards.Macao (IFFAM) is being held from 5th to 10th December, screening an extravaganza of around 50 feature films from the East and West through various sections as follows: opening and closing films, International Competition, New Chinese Cinema, seven non-competition sections including World Panorama, Flying Daggers, Gala, Special Presentations, ‘20th Anniversary Macao Special Presentations’, Director’s Choice and Macao Short Film Special Presentation.

The 4th IFFAM invited international acclaimed film director Peter Chan Ho-sun as Jury President of the International Competition. Karan Johar, Kim Yong-Hwa and Wang Xiaoshuai are the Festival Ambassadors this year. France’s ‘Triple Crown’ Best Actress Juliette Binoche, acclaimed best actress of Chinese films, Carina Lau, and famous Korean star SUHO are Talent Ambassadors. It is also expected that 250 media entities from over 28 countries and regions will be in Macao for the event, which will attract a line-up of movie makers, film stars and other guests from near and afar.

Opening film won People’s Choice Award in Toronto International Film Festival

The opening film 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 in face of various disputes in the times of turbulence. The film 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.

Closing film appeared in Festivals in Tokyo and London

I’m livin’ it, from Hong Kong, will be the closing film of this year’s IFFAM. The story revolves around Bowen (starring Aaron Kwok), once a star in his finance firm, who now spends his nights in a 24-hour fast food joint, where he encounters others ‘roommates’ who are in a similar predicament: a mother (starring Cya Liu) with her daughter who has taken out high-interest loans to cover her mother-in-law’s debt, an old man (starring Alex Man) who is too afraid to go home, a young runaway (starring Zeno Koo), a young singer (starring Miriam Yeung) living in a temporary shelter. Together these accidental roommates must strive to lift one another out of rock bottom. This film participated in Tokyo International Film Festival and was invited as closing film in London East Asia Film Festival.

Peter Chan Ho-sun as Jury President of International Competition

The ten entries in the International Competition will present once again first or second feature films directed by ‘new voices’ from around the world, namely Bellbird, Bombay Rose, Buoyancy, Family Members, Give Me Liberty, Goldie, Homecoming, Lynn + Lucy, Two of Us, and Two/One.

The Jury of International Competition comprises a strong line-up of prominent heavyweights this year. Peter Chan Ho-sun, who is an accomplished film director, producer and screenwriter, is Jury President of the Competition. The other Jury members include: Ellen Eliasoph, who has worked in the Chinese film industry for over two decades and has been a producer for many Chinese films; Indonesian actress Dian Sastrowardoyo, winner of Best Actress Award in Deauville Asian Film Festival; film director Midi Z from Myanmar, whose latest film Nina Wu, was nominated in Cannes Film Festival; British actor Tom Cullen, who won wide recognition for his acting performances and has under his belt a series of accolades in various events including Nashville Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The Jury will choose among the competing films for the Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, among other awards, while the audience will vote for the Macao Audience Choice Award. The awards will be presented at the closing ceremony of the festival on 10th December.

New Chinese Cinema lines up eminent jury members

Another competition section, New Chinese Cinema, presents a short list of movies featuring some of the best new talent in Chinese cinema: Better Days, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, Lucky Grandma, To Live to Sing, Wet Season, Wisdom Tooth and Over The Sea.

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 Kristen 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.

This year, aside from the Best Film award, the films will compete for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

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 the group of short films Years of Macao. This section will bring outstanding local film productions into the limelight on the international stage, and 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. This film is directed by Li Shaohong, and unfolds its story against the backdrop of Macao.

IFFAM Project Market Bringing 14 New Film Projects

From 6th to 8th December, the Film Festival will stage the IFFAM Industry Hub at the Macao Cultural Centre. Around 200 film industry professionals from nearly 30 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 the details through the presentations.

For the Work-in-progress (WIP) Presentations, filmmakers will be invited once again this year 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.

One of the selected film projects in IFFAM Project Market 2016, The Long Walk, participated in the WIP 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 also present the advantages delivered by the Film Festival.

Five Days of Films and Opportunities to Meet Filmmakers

The non-competition sections will bring a string of films from around the world, including acclaimed pictures at this year’s international film festivals, with World Panorama, presenting Balloon, Dirty God, Little Joe, My Zoe, Proxima, Saturday Fiction, The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, The Long Walk, and The Wild Goodse Lake. Flying Daggers will present First Love, The Lighthouse, and The Platform. UK Gala will present A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, and Judy, in addition Dance with Me brought by Japan Gala. While Dark Waters will appear as Hollywood Special Presentation.

Director’s Choice section will present Blowup, The 400 Blows, Tokyo Story. And the Macao Short Film Special Presentation will show Continuity to the audience. In addition, Special Presentations will also, include The Truth, The Domain, Red Amnesia, Flowers of Shanghai and The Present.

Many of the films screened during the five days of the Film Festival will be presented by their directors, cast, production team or other film industry insiders, who will be in Macao for the event. The public can also attend In Conversation with Juliette Binoche, as well as Masterclasses with Korean director Kim Yong-Hwa and British actress Lily James.

Films in the IFFAM programme will be shown to the public at Macao Cultural Centre, Macau Tower, Cinematheque.Passion and Macao Old Court Building. Audiences can buy film tickets through www.macauticket.com, or at the screening venues during the Film Festival.

For more details about the programme of films screening and related activities of the 4th IFFAM, please visit: www.iffamacao.com.