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Curtain rises on TV and film fests
By Xu Wei

THE curtain rises next week on the best foreign and domestic film and TV productions in the city's 19th Television Festival and the 16th International Film Festival.

The annual TV festival, which runs from June 10 to 14, and film fest, which run from 15 to 23, bring together filmmakers, actors, scriptwriters, producers and critics for discussions and workshops.

For fans of both the big and small screen, it is the time to spot stars, probably get their signatures, and view films that are being screened for the first time, or the only time, in the city.

Who will show up

Around 300 film celebrities and figures will show up at the opening ceremony on June 15 at Shanghai Culture Square. They include American film maker Oliver Stone, British director Tom Hooper, South Korean actor Jo In-sung, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen and Taiwanese singer/actor Jay Chou.

Other guests include Hong Kong director Tsui Hark, film director and producer Johnnie To, mainland female director Li Shaohong and former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis.

The list of Western celebrity actors is to be announced.

Viewers will be able to chat face-to-face with entertainment figures and can vote for their favorite TV series and actors at Sina.com.cn.

What to watch

During the TV festival, more than 80 recent and acclaimed shows will be screened on the Documentary Channel, Art Channel, Entertainment Channel and ICS. They include dramas, documentaries, animations and other films.

Among more than 1,000 entries, 48 productions have been nominated for the TV festival's Magnolia awards in TV film, documentary, drama and animation.

They include the mainland drama "Beijing Youths" about a group of young people and their love, friendship and coming of age.

The German nature documentary "The Green Universe" and British animation "Room on the Broom," based on a children's picture book, will be screened.

The five-day event includes the Shanghai Student Television Festival screening short videos by college students, the international film and TV marketing and animation pitch, and TV forums about challenges and opportunities in China's TV industry.

At the film festival, around 300 Chinese and foreign films will be screened. The opening film will be "Monsters University," a new 3D animated comedy produced by Pixar Animation Studios.

Films to be screened will include a range of genres.

Representative works of Olive Stone, Tom Hooper, Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and Chinese director Tang Xiaodan will be screened. They include seven of Stone's films, including the award-winning "Platoon" (1986), "Wall Street" (1987) and "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989).

Suspense film fans can watch nine early and rarely screened silent films by British master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock.

The films have been restored and will be shown in Asia for the first time, some with live music.

All were filmed between 1925 and 1929, and demonstrate the evolution of Hitchcock's suspense style. They include his directorial debut "The Pleasure Garden," as well as "The Lodger," "The Ring," "Downhill," "The Farmer's Wife," "Easy Virtue," "Champagne," "The Manxman" and "Blackmail."

"Blackmail" was later re-shot by Hitchcock to include some snippets of dialogue.

It was the first sound film screened in the UK.

Additionally, nine films starring the late Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung will be shown, including "Farewell, My Concubine," "Days of Being Wild" and "Rouge."

Acclaimed works to be screened include Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta," last year's Golden Lion winner, the Bertolucci film "Me and You," independent British thriller "Berberian Sound Studio," and India's Oscar-nominated film "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India."

The recent films are from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Thailand and other countries.

Where to watch

A total of 26 cinemas across the town will screen festival films.

The main venue of the film festival is at the Shanghai Film Art Center, 160 Xinhua Road.

Where to buy tickets

Ticket sales begin tomorrow at theaters, www.ticket2010.com and www.gewara.com. Tickets for each screening will be priced between 40 yuan (US$6.45) and 60 yuan. All will be screened in their original language with English and Chinese subtitles.

Information about the cinemas and screening schedules are available on www.siff.com (English service is available).

Judging from past festivals, tickets for some popular films always sell out quickly. So make sure to book early.

About the awards

The Golden Goblet (Jin Jue) Awards will be handed out on the last day.

Fourteen films have been selected from 1,655 movies from 112 countries and regions. They will compete in various categories for a Golden Goblet.

Nominated films include Canadian director Lenin Sivam's "A Gun & A Ring," Russian filmmaker Yury Bykov's "The Major" and South Korean director Kang Woo-suk's "Fists of Legend."

Three Chinese productions - "Amazing" by Sherwood Hu, "Unbeatable" by Dante Lam and "The Stolen Years" by Barbara Wong - will vie for the top prize.

The festival will include an Asian New Talent Award, a smartphone film festival and short film exhibition that recognize the power of new media.

About the jury

The film festival jury includes famous Chinese director Zhang Li; local scriptwriter Wang Liping; Yves Jeanneau, founder of France's Sunny Side of the Doc; and animation series producer Wong Kok-cheong from Singapore.

Oliver Stone, who judged the Golden Goblet Awards in 1993 at the first Shanghai International Film Festival, will receive an outstanding achievement award.

The 67-year-old director will take part in a master class and share his experience with Chinese directors.

The president of the seven-member judging panel will be Tom Hooper, British director of "The King's Speech."

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