Macao Festival: Ning Hao to Head Jury, Hirokazu Kore-eda to Receive Special Award

Ning Hao and Hirokazu Kore-eda
Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Ning Hao and Hirokazu Kore-eda

The fifth edition of the event will take place virtually from Dec. 3 through 8.

Chinese director Ning Hao will head the competition jury at the upcoming digital International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), with the festival also set to honor Japanese auteur Hirozaku Kore-eda with their 'Spirit of Cinema' award.

The fifth edition of the event, which will take place Dec. 3-8, announced its full program with all films available online via a dedicated video streaming platform. The festival's filmmaker talk series, In Conversation, will also take place virtually as will the awards ceremony on closing night, where Kore-eda will receive his special award.

Hao (Breakup Buddies, Crazy Alien) leads an international competition jury that includes Laotian director Mattie Do (Dearest SisterThe Long Walk), German actress Nina Hoss (YellaHomeland), Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo (Be With Me, My Magic) and Hong Kong producer Albert Lee.

The international competition, which includes a $60,000 prize, includes Viggo Mortenson’s directorial debut Falling, Love Poem which won the top prize at the FIRST International Film Festival this year, Jeonju prize-winner Black Light, Rotterdam Tiger winner The Cloud In Her Room and Cannes 2020 label titles Limbo, Spring Blossom and Sweat.

The festival's World Panorama section includes Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round, Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, Jasmila Zbanic's Quo Vadis, Aida?, Majid Majidi's Sun Children and Yujiro Harumoto's A Balance. 

The Flying Daggers genre section includes Meander by Mathieu Turi, The Paper Tigers by Quoc Bao Tran and Relic by Natalie Erika James.

And the 2020 IFFAM special presentations will include Chinese patriotic smash hit My People, My Homeland, French animated film Calamity directed by Remi Chayé, Japanese comedy Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro, COVID-19 doc 76 Days, and Hong Kong short film A Dream Of A Lifetime. 

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, Kirill Mikhanovsky's Give Me Liberty and Rodd Rathjen's Buoyancy were among the notable winners at IFFAM last year.

Hao, Hoss, Kore-eda, Mortensen and Korean director Hur Jin-ho are all set to take part in the In Conversation series which will be available online, for free.

In a statement, Mike Goodridge, artistic director of the IFFAM, said: "The unprecedented challenges of 2020 may mean that we can’t play IFFAM’s programme in theatres and we can’t welcome any international guests to Macao, but that will not stop us delivering this superb selection of 31 films to audiences in Macao and Hong Kong on our dedicated online platform. The films will play on specific days, and we want to recreate at least some of the excitement of a festival experience by providing introductions from directors, juried awards, and a series of conversations with five world-class directors. We hope, of course, to be back to theatres in 2021 and, in the meantime, we are so excited to bring our virtual festival to audiences this year."

Streaming access to IFFAM films will be available via Shift72, with audiences able to watch each film from the programme online for 24 to 48 hours after rental. Tickets will go on sale on Friday Nov. 13.