On September 23, the 3rd Silk Road International Film Festival (SRIFF), hosted by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China, the People's Government of Shaanxi Province and the Fujian Provincial People's Government, was wrapped up. The event ran for five days from September 19 to 23, with the main session in Shaanxi and the panel session in Fujian. Chinese and foreign film celebrities, such as Jackie Chan, Sophie Marceau, Angie Chiu, Gu Changwei, Huang Jianxin, Fan Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming, Kris Wu, Eddie Peng, William Chan, Zhang Jiayi, Yan Ni and Bertie Higgins, gathered at the closing ceremony in Xi'an. The five Media Awards of the festival were unveiled. Film Money was the biggest winner.
Star-studded closing ceremony honors the starting city of the Silk Road
The Silk Road extended for thousands of miles and Silk Road culture was handed down for thousands of years. The Closing Ceremony & Award Ceremony of SRIFF integrated the history and culture of the Silk Road, the city character of Xi'an and the featu res of the festival, presented virtual-real scenes by multiple artistic means, created visual spectacle through technology, delivered a grand three-dimensional stage show, and presented a high-tech film night with international style.
The Closing Ceremony & Award Ceremony of the 3rd SRIFF had four sessions: Red Carpet, Closing Ceremony show, Award Ceremony and Handover Ceremony.
The Closing Ceremony show comprising three chapters- Danfeng Gate in the Sun, Dream of Hanyuan Palace and Connection of the Silk Road, presented many programs themed the Silk Road. Under the theme of city and film, the show honored the starting city of the Silk Road with songs and dances.
Chinese and foreign stars, including Jackie Chan, Sophie Marceau, Angie Chiu, Zhao Jiping, Gu Changwei, Jiang Wen, Fan Bingbing, Sandy Lam, Huang Xiaoming, Kris Wu, Eddie Peng, William Chan, Zhang Jiayi, Yan Ni and Bertie Higgins, gathered in Xi'an. Bands such as Tang Dynasty, AK Acappella and Five Continents, joined this event. Installation dance Invitation to Wine, the reunion of the crew of film Red Sorghum after 30 years, grand installation dance Song of the Phoenix, When Love Has Gone sung by Sandy Lam and other performances surprised the audience all the time. The reunion of the crew of film Red Sorghum after 30 years was most touching in the night.
Attending the closing ceremony was the first public appearance of Jackie Chan, the image ambassador of the festival, after he won the Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award. He expressed his gratitude to those who love him all over the world. "There was a Chinese ancient saying, 'Good wine needs no bush', as long as you hold on, your dream will come true. As the image ambassador of the festival, I really appreciate your support to me and films. Chinese films are growing strong and foreign films are going into China, hopefully Chinese films will become better and better!"
Young ambassador Kris Wu was the flag bearer at the flag handover ceremony of the festival. The handover of the festival flag from the People's Government of Shaanxi Province to the Fujian Provincial People's Government marked the conclusion of the 3rd SRIFF. The 4th SRIFF will be held in Fuzhou, the starting city of the Maritime Silk Road.
Money is the biggest winner
The Old Man and Dogs and Xuan Zang share the Award for Best Feature Film
The 3rd SRIFF received 676 film entries from 35 countries and regions such as China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Russia, the USA, France, Japan, Germany, Korea and the UK, and 242 were shortlisted for awards. Among the shortlisted films were 145 Chinese films, including 90 feature films, 30 documentaries and 25 animated cartoons; as well as 97 foreign films, including 80 feature films and 17 documentaries.
The Media Award for Best Animation went to Little Door Gods. Notably, Yan Ni, a female actress from Shaanxi, read the winner list with a mix of Shaanxi dialect and English, enchanting the audience with soft voice. The Award for Best Documentary was presented to Born in China. The director Lu Chuan is a son-in-law of Shaanxi. He said in excitement, "I feel the efforts of our team over the past three years are worth with the award."
The winner of the Award for Best Actress was Jess Weixler whose performance in Money captivated the judges who said her performance effectively evolved the story. The winner of the Award for Best Actor was Carlo Verdone, the protagonist of The Big Score. Elegant goddess Angie Chiu and judge Tao Hong presented the award.
Sophie Marceau and image ambassador Jackie Chan unveiled the winners of the Media Award for Best Feature Film. Undoubtedly, Money, a US-Spain co-production, was crowned as the biggest winner; two Chinese films-The Old Man and Dogs and Xuan Zang telling the story of Master Xuan Zang shared the award. Huang Jianxin presented the 2016 Award for Outstanding Contributor to the Global Communication of the Silk Road Culture to Huang Xiaoming in acknowledgment of his contribution to the communication of Silk Road Culture.
Build “feast of films and a festival for people”
SRIFF is China's first film festival named after the Silk Road, as well as China's another major international film exchange platform created by China after the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Beijing International Film Festival. The 3rd SRIFF brought together 320 outstanding films, over 170 industrial elitists and over 500 film institutions from 57 countries and regions, and attracted over 200,000 visitors to deliver a spectacular and fruitful film feast, showing the unique charm and great vitality of Silk Road culture.
The film screening unit presented over 320 films and over 1,400 sessions in 25 cinemas, two universities and 500 mobile screening points in Xi'an, with a total of 200,000 viewers. Of them, 56 films were awarded or nominated in world-famous film festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Oscar and the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Cultures are brilliant because of diversity and civilizations sublime because of mutual reference. Several film forums, such as Chairman Forum, Film Education and Industry Forum, Silk Road Film Cooperation Forum and VR Forum, were held in Xi'an. Over 170 distinguished producers, directors, screenwriters, film critics, experts and scholars aired respective opinions at these forums.
The film market unit of the 3rd SRIFF included Project Pitch session for the first time, and presented three awards-"Jury Prize", "Best Script Award" and "Most Innovative Award", with total prize money of 200,000 yuan. 264 projects were collected. Over 200 film & TV professionals from home and abroad were involved in the road shows of Project Pitches, award presentation and project negotiations.
During the cultural show, six fine dramas, including drama Empresses in the Palace, experimental drama Henan Refugees Survived in Xi'an and original dance drama Silk Princess, were staged. Pro-people cultural events such as Silk Road Star Run and 2016 Xi'an Symphony Orchestra Dayanta Outdoor Public Performance attracted over 100,000 people, showing the all-embracing cultural outlook of Xi'an as the starting city of the Silk Road.
As an important part of the Silk Road Film & Television Bridge Program, SRIFF is a major move to implement the national strategy of the "Belt and Road", has become a "Chinese mark" showcasing the supreme talent of film practitioners from around the world, and become a "brilliant symbol" carrying forward Silk Road spirit. In 2017, the main session of SRIFF will return to Fuzhou, the starting city of the Maritime Silk Road.