Shanghai Festival Announces Project Market Entries

Sylvia Chang - P 2013

Pitches from award-winning Taiwanese filmmaker Sylvia Chang and mainland singer-actress Tian Yuan lead the way for the 30 projects on offer next month.

HONG KONG – Veteran Taiwanese actress-filmmaker Sylvia Chang and mainland Chinese singer-turned-director Tian Yuan will be leading the charge in the Shanghai International Film Festival’s seventh annual project market, which takes place from June 16 - 19.

A multiple-award-winning actress and a member of the competition jury in Berlin in 1992, Chang will return to directing with Chinese Lover, her first film since 2008's Run Papa Run. Chang is also at present chairman of the Taipei Film Festival and vice-chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

Chinese Lover is selected for the Shanghai Film Market’s Co-production Film Pitch and Catch competition, a section dedicated to projects seeking financing from China – Chang’s pitch, for example, is positioned as a co-production between mainland China and Taiwan. Among the other entries in the section are projects from Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Italy and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the highest-profile entry in China Film Pitch and Catch – a category designed for younger directors from the mainland – would be Forgot to Forget from Tian, who will be making her transition to directing after making her name first as a singer, a novelist, and then an actress (debuting with Butterfly in 2004, and then an appearance at Cannes with Wang Chao’s Un Certain Regard winner Luxury Car in 2005)

While theoretically the younger cousin of the Co-production contest, the China Film Pitch and Catch is laden with entrants boasting backing from established figures and companies in the Chinese film industry.

New director Luo Dong’s New York, New York, for example, is backed by Guan Xiaohui, the producer of the current runaway box-office hit So Young. Gao Bo (Fantasy Journey), meanwhile, counts among his supporters Chen Zhixi, the producer of Lost in Thailand, the highest-grossing homegrown production in Chinese history.

Li Xiaofeng’s Scrape My Bone, meanwhile, is produced by Zhang Yuan, once the leading light of the so-called Sixth Generation independent Chinese filmmakers who reaped critical acclaim abroad with Mama and Beijing Bastards. Guo Shubo, who was well-known for short films, is collaborating with online film-and-TV portal Youku for his entry Secret Area.

Chosen from a field of 224 applications, the eight Chinese Film Pitch and Catch entries will be in the running for a Best Creative Project prize chosen by a jury comprising mainland Chinese director Sun Zhou, Taiwanese producer Li Lieh and Cloud Atlas co-producer Philip Lee.