Shanghai Festival: Danish Auteur Bille August's 'The Chinese Widow' to Premiere in Competition

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Other titles competing at the 20th annual Chinese cinema event include American comedy 'Brigsby Bear' and Hong Kong auteur Ann Hui's war drama 'Our Time Will Come.'

Danish auteur Bille August's Chinese historical drama The Chinese Widow, starring Emile Hirsch, is set to premiere in competition at the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival, organizers revealed Thursday.

August, a two-time Palme d'Or winner, recently served as the jury chair at the Beijing International Film Festival. The Chinese Widow follows the story of a WWII American Air Force pilot who emergency lands in China's Zhejiang Province after a bombing run on Tokyo. He is rescued by a young Chinese widow and a heart-wrenching love story ensues.

Among the other titles competing against August in the fest’s main competition section are American comedy Brigsby Bear, directed by Saturday Night Live writer Dave McCary, and Hong Kong auteur Ann Hui's war drama Our Time Will Come.

This 19th edition of the Shanghai festival, set to run June 17-26, will feature its usual blend of high-minded retrospectives and crowd-pleasing sidebars. Well attended locally, the event gives Shanghai residents a chance to see films they wouldn't normally get to experience in theaters as China's censorship regime takes a momentary lighter hand.

Romanian helmer Cristian Mungiu is presiding over the jury that will decides the winner of SIFF's annual Golden Goblet Awards. He is joined by Chinese director Cao Baoping, Chinese screenwriter Li Qiang, American-Macedonian filmmaker Milcho Manchevski, Japanese helmer Sabu, American producer Gary Michael Walters and Chinese actress Xu Qing.

Elsewhere in the program, the event will feature competition sections dedicate to documentary filmmaking and animation (see the lineups below). This year's fest will also show a retrospective of classic Disney animation, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Bambi and others.

While Korean cinema remains blocked from China due to political reasons, two sidebars are dedicated to contemporary Japanese cinema this year, showing such films as Yukiko Mishima's contemporary drama Dear Etranger and Hiroshi Nishitani's adultery romance Hirugao.

Jackie Chan Action Movie Week is again set to return with a selection of 20 cutting-edge contemporary action flicks from around the world in a program overseen by Chan himself.

Feature Competition

Brigsby Bear (USA), directed by Dave McCary
The Chinese Widow (China), directed by Bille August
The Conformist (China), directed by Cai Shangjun
Fault Condition (Romania), directed by Cătălin Saizescu
I’m a Killer (Poland), directed by Maciej Pieprzyca
In the Great and Terrible World (Italy), directed by Daniele Maggioni/Laura Perini/Maria Grazia Perria
Kharms (Russia/ Lithuania/Macedonia), directed by Ivan Bolotnikov
Mad to Be Normal (Great Britain), directed by Robert Mullan
My Brother Simple (Germany), directed by Markus Goller
No Bed for Roses (Bangladesh/India), directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Oour Time Will Come (China), directed by Ann Hui
Pedicab (Philippines), directed by Paolo Villaluna
Reminiscence (Japan), directed by Yasuo Furuhata
Yellow (Iran), directed by Mostafa Taghizad’h

Documentary

Big Sonia (USA), directed by Leah Warshawski
The Good Postman (Finland/ Bulgaria), directed by Tonislav Hristov
Robin (Italy), directed by Michele Santoro
Still Tomorrow (China), directed by FAN Jian
When Paul Came Over the Sea — Journal of an Encounter (Germany), directed by Jakob Preuss

Animation

In the Forest of Huckybucky (Norway), directed by Rasmus A. Sivertsen
Loving Vincent (Great Britain), directed by Hugh Welchman/ Dorota Kobiela
Lu Over the Wall (Japan), directed by Masaaki Yuasa
Richard the Stork (Germany/ Belgium/ Luxembourg/ Norway), directed by Reza Memari/ Toby Genkel
Tea Pets (China), directed by Wang Wei

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