Paul Schrader Joins Macau Film Festival Jury

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Paul Schrader

Chinese director Chen Kaige will chair the event's jury, while Nicolas Cage and Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok are on board as talent ambassadors.

The Macau International Film Festival has filled out the ranks of the international jury for its upcoming third edition, running Dec. 8-14 in the southern Chinese casino enclave.

Joining the previously announced jury president Chen Kaige will be veteran U.S. screenwriter and director Paul Schrader, along with Hong Kong filmmaker Mabel Cheung, Indian actress Tillotama Shome and Australian producer Paul Currie.

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.

Schrader's lengthy and now legendary career includes the screenwriting credits for several classic films from Martin Scorsese, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ. His diverse and idiosyncratic work as a director includes Blue Collar, American Gigolo, Cat People, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and The Canyons, among others. Schrader's most recent film, First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, will be included in the Macau festival's lineup this year.

Cheng is a pillar of the Hong Kong film industry, with filmography that spans A Tale of Three Cities (2015), which was nominated for six Hong Kong Film Awards, and the hit historical drama The Soong Sisters (1997), staring Maggie Cheung, Vivian Wu and Michelle Yeoh.

Shome made her breakthrough as one of the leads of Mira Nair's Golden Lion winner Monsoon Wedding. Other career highlights include a starring role in Rohena Gera’s Sir, which won the Critics' Week Grand Prize in Cannes this year.

Currie's eclectic work as a producer includes Hacksaw Ridge, Rampart and Jackie Chan's Bleeding Steel.

The Macau festival's 2018 talent ambassadors are Nicolas Cage and Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok. Other industry ambassadors will include South Korean filmmaker Kim Yong–hwa, India's Shekhar Kapur and Chinese director Xue Xiaolu.

As in the first two editions of the event, this year's Macau festival will again include a gala section of mainstream, crowd-pleasing titles; Flying Daggers, a selection of international genre films; the Best of Fest Panorama, gathering the best film-festival features of the year; the Director’s Choice Retrospective, in which well-known Asian and international directors pick their favorite classic genre flicks; one or two retrospectives; and special presentations related to special guests or lifetime achievement award honorees.

Some additions have also been made this year. A showcase called "New Chinese Cinema" will feature a selection of four to six films representing the programming team’s picks of the best new Chinese-language cinema of 2018. The fest also is adding a "For All the Family" strand, which will screen a small collection of family-film favorites from around the world.