Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng to Attend Shanghai International Film Festival

The media power couple will participate in the festival's opening and a film investment forum.

BEIJING – News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and his film producer wife Wendi Deng will attend the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival’s opening on June 11 and share their ideas on film investment in an industry forum, organizers said late Wednesday.

Murdoch is just the latest in a growing group of international guests set to attend the event, which runs through June 19, and this year, as China’s box office booms, is attracting more global star power than in past editions.

Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson will head the festival jury and stars Susan Sarandon, Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei and Willem Dafoe all have confirmed their trips to Shanghai.

Their visits come at a time when box office revenue, which last year grew 64% percent to $1.5 billion, heralds China’s growing middle class as a force to be reckoned with in the media and entertainment industries.

Murdoch will speak at the SIFF’s first industry forum whose roughly translated title, Dancing with the Film Capital, could be a declaration of Shanghai’s private business savvy over the recently completed 1st Beijing International Film Festival, an event criticized for having been dominated by government bureaucrats.

For her part, Deng, a Chinese national, recently helped IDG China Media complete star Zhang Ziyi’s latest English-language film, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by director Wayne Wang. The film is set to make its market debut at the Cannes Film Festival, just before Shanghai, with appearances by co-stars Li Bingbing and Korean actress Gianna Jung.