Macau Film Festival Reveals Lineup, 'Green Book' Set as Opening Film

Green Book Still 1 - TIFF Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of TIFF

The third edition of the fest will see Chinese auteur Chen Kaige as jury head of the international competition.

Peter Farrelly's awards contender Green Book will open the third edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM). 

Set to run Dec. 8-14 in the former Portuguese colony, IFFAM has announced its full competition lineup as well as a host of gala and genre screenings, special presentations, a retrospective on Chinese actress Yao Chen and a new competitive section titled New Chinese Cinema. 

Farewell My Concubine director Chen Kaige was previously announced as head of the international competition jury.  The Chinese auteur will be joined on the panel by writer-director-producer Mabel Cheung, director-producer Paul Currie, actress Tillotama Shome and writer-director Danis Tanovic.

The international strand is the Macau festival's main competition section. It is dedicated exclusively to films by first- and second-time filmmakers and awards a prize of $60,000 for best feature. Eleven films will compete in the competition this year, and entries include Gustav Moller's Sundance breakout The Guilty, Vasan Bala's Toronto and Mumbai fest favorite The Man Who Feels No Pain and Hiroshi Okuyama's San Sebastian winner Jesus. 

Among the gala screenings will be the Asian premiere of Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots, Luca Guadagnino’s horror remake Suspiria, Gilles Lellouche’s French box-office phenomenon Sink or Swim, Choi Kook-hee’s Korean financial thriller Default, Edwin’s Indonesian culinary rom-com Aruna and Her Palate, Toby McDonald's Old Boys and Yorgos Lanthimos’ awards contender The Favourite. Local director Ivo Ferreira’s Macau-set drama Empire Hotel will also receive a special presentation. 

Nicolas Cage, who along with Hong Kong acting and music legend Aaron Kwok was named an IFFAM talent ambassador, will also be at the festival to take part in a master class session. The event also will screen his critically acclaimed horror thriller Mandy. 

IFFAM this year will host a retrospective of the work of Chinese actress and philanthropist Yao Chen. The fest will screen 2012's Caught in the Web (directed by Chen Kaige) and two of Yao's more recent hits: Lost, Found and Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back. 

The New Chinese Cinema strand is a new competitive element at IFFAM and will focus on six outstanding films from Chinese-speaking territories. The selection includes three films from China, two from Taiwan and one from Malaysia. 

Coming at the end of the global festival calendar, IFFAM will also present some of the buzziest titles to hit the circuit this year in its Best of Fest Panorama strand. Screenings include Netflix's Golden Lion winner Roma as well as fellow Venice winners The Sister Brothers and Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s Manta Ray.

Ben Wheatley's Happy New Year, Colin Burstead and Erik Poppe's U-July 22 will also screen in the Best of Fest section. 

IFFAM is organized by artistic director Mike Goodridge and head of festival management Lorna Tee.