Hong Kong action movie star Jackie Chan and former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson were among the biggest names to grace the red carpet last night for the opening of the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival.
One of the highlights of this year’s event will be a “Jackie Chan Action Movie Week,” which will include “a forum on the future of kung fu movies and an awards ceremony to honor remarkable film artists of the genre,” the eponymous actor said.
Chan also told fans that his new film studio will open in Shanghai in the coming months, and that his new war film “Railroad Tigers” will start shooting in October.
Tyson, who is among the cast for “Ip Man 3,” impressed the local audience by saying “hello” in Chinese.
“It’s an unbelievable experience for me to cooperate with kung fu star Donnie Yen in the movie,” he said. “The film is great.”
About 400 celebrities were invited to attend a gala event at the Shanghai Grand Theater to get the annual celebration under way. This year’s curtain-raiser was “I Am Somebody,” directed by Hong Kong’s Derek Yee.
The movie, which stars unknown actors with star cameos, chronicles the trials and tribulations of extras, or supporting actors, working in the world’s largest film studio.
This year marks the 120th anniversary of the creation of the cinematograph and the 110th anniversary of cinema’s arrival in China.
In celebration of the double anniversary, 88-year-old Chinese-American actress and producer Lisa Lu shared her memories from a lifetime in the industry.
“My affinity with film started when I was a young girl,” Lu said.
“I used to work as an interpreter for foreign films at the Shanghai Grand Cinema. Many years have passed since then, but my passion has never faded. It’s a dream worth pursuing for a lifetime,” she said.
Also on the red carpet last night were influential Japanese filmmaker Shunji Iwai and Italian actress Maria Cucinotta.
Russian movie-maker Andrei Zvyagintsev, known for “The Return” and “Leviathan,” was named as the head of the jury panel for this year’s Golden Goblet awards.
After expressing his delight at being given the role, the director spoke of the importance of art in the movie industry.
“Art is of eternal value,” he said.
“Films with the highest artistry will stand out from the competition.”
Fourteen movies from various genres will compete for this year’s Golden Goblet awards.
This 18th Shanghai International Film Festival runs until next Sunday.