Shanghai Film Fest: Iran, Bangladesh and Thailand Entries Included in Lineup

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Golden Goblet jury head Gong Li

Aiming to promote diversity, organizers have released the names of 11 of the competition titles.

Organizers of the Shanghai International Film Festival unveiled a partial list of titles competing for the Golden Goblet award in this year’s event, which starts on June 14.

The Shanghai fest, which began in 1993, is China's most international film festival and remains an important fixture on the film festival circuit in Asia, especially since Chinese box office started to explode in the past few years, even if more recently it has had to share the national limelight with the Beijing film festival.

The competition lineup so far includes the Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Ant Story, John Carney’s Begin Again and Volker Schlöndorff’s Diplomatie.

“The festival will also host film markets and forums to discuss the latest trends in filmmaking,” said Fu Wenxia, an official with the festival's organizing committee. “It will release new film co-production plans and launch a production center for micro movies and online series. We hope that the annual event can impel the domestic film industry and discover a lot more talent."

The jury is headed by actress Gong Li and includes Korean director Im Sang-soo, British director Sally Potter, Danish director Lone Scherfig, Chinese director Liu Jie, Iranian actor Payman Maadi, and Japanese director Shunji Iwai.

The festival also features programs aimed at fostering new talent, such as Mobile SIFF, the International Student Short Film Award and the Asian New Talent Award.

The International Film Panorama will showcase the representative works of Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, French director Alain Renais, and Chinese directors Jiang Wen and Wu Tianming.

Organizers said that more 400 film stars and celebs will tread the red carpet at the opening ceremony on June 14. So far the lineup is mostly composed of local talent, including John Woo, Jiang Wen, Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse, Li Bingbing and Gao Yuanyuan.

Also attending will be the crew from Brotherhood of Blades, But Always and Wolf Totem.

This year, the SIFF will again focus on promoting Asian films, Chinese films and young filmmakers, it said.

The festival received an unprecedented 1,099 submissions for the Golden Goblet Award and 1,808 for the Film Panorama, organizers said, and will screen around 900 films in 35 theaters this year.

Tom Waller’s The Last Executioner, about the last executioner in Thailand, will have its world premiere in competition, and the Golden Goblet will also feature Mikra Anglia, a Greek film directed by Pantelis Voulgaris and Maiko wa Lady by the Japanese director Masayuki Suo.

Predestination by Michael and Peter Spierig, Elle l'adore by Jeanne Herry and the Iranian film Snow, directed by Mehdi Rahmani, also feature.

The Uncle Victory, by Zhang Meng, who directed the popular The Piano in a Factory, will compete for the Golden Goblet, as will The Woods Are Still Green by the German director Marko Nabersnik.