The Shanghai International Film Festival, celebrating its 21st edition this year, on Tuesday unveiled the first eight features selected for its main competition section.
The sole U.S. contender so far is A.J. Edwards’ young adult drama Friday’s Child, starring Tye Sheridan, while China will be represented by LV Yue’s family drama Lost, Found. Also screening in competition is Batbayar Chogsom’s Out of Paradise, a Mongolian road movie about a nomadic couple who must travel to the big city for medical treatment.
This 21st edition of the fest, set to run June 16-25, 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.
Legendary Chinese actor-director Jiang Wen is presiding over the jury that will decide the winner of SIFF’s annual Golden Goblet Awards. He is joined by Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase, U.S. producer David Permut, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi, Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu and Chinese actress Qin Hailu.
This year’s documentary competition includes American filmmaker Stephen Maing’s searing indictment of New York police corruption, Crime + Punishment. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s doc One of Us, which chronicles the lives of three ex-Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn, will also compete in the category, along with Chinese director Yi Han’s tale of rural Chinese hardship, In My Eyes.
The animation category, meanwhile, includes Disney veteran Tony Bancroft’s Magical Circus and Japanese director Mari Okada’s anime fantasy Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms.
Over the next week, festival organizers will announce six more competition titles, as well as further programming additions.
See the initial competition lineup below.
Director: A.J. Edwards
Director: Ramtin Lavafipour
A Hole in the Head
Director: Piotr Subbotko
Director: LV Yue
Out of Paradise
Director: Batbayar Chogsom
Director: Rodrigo Barriuso/Sebastian Barriuso
The Way to Mandalay
Director: Ole Bornedal
Where I’ve Never Lived
Director: Paolo Franchi
Crime and Punishment
Director: Stephen Maing
In My Eyes
Director: Yi Han
The Long Season
Country/Region: The Netherlands
Director: Leonard Retel Helmrich
My Enemy, My Brother
Director: Ann Shin
One of Us
Directors: Heidi Ewing/Rachel Grady
Director: Stanislav Sokolov
Director: Tony Bancroft
Maquia: When the Promised Flover Blooms
Director: Mari Okada
Director: Zhou Shengwei
Director: Alexandre Espigares