Shanghai unveils 2009 competition slate

17 films from 16 territories in the running for 'golden goblet'

BEIJING -- Shanghai International Film Festival organizers unveiled the films that will compete from June 13-21 for the "Jin Jue," or "golden goblet" awards in eight categories topped by Best Feature Film, a prize taken home in 2008 by Russian Vladimir Kott's "Mukha."

At a press conference here Monday, Ren Zhonglun, vice president of the Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group and president of the Shanghai Film Group, read the list of 17 films chosen from 16 territories in competition at the 12th edition of the event.

The films to be judged by a jury led by "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle are: from Italy, director Giulio Manfredonia's "We Can Do That" and Dodo Fiori's, "Schemes Of Affection"; from France, Emmanuel Finkiel's "Nowhere Promised Land," and André Téchiné's "The Girl On The Train,"; and from Germany, Christoph Röhl's "A Piece Of Me."

Christos Georgiou's "Small Crime" comes from Germany, Cyprus and Greece, while from Central Europe, Polish director Maciej Pieprzyca brings "Splinters," Hungarian Krisztina Goda brings "Chameleon," and Czech Julius Sevcik brings "Normal."

From Scandinavia, the films competing are Danish director Nils Malmros' "Aching Hearts," Norwegian Pål Jackman's "The Storm In My Heart," and, from Denmark and Sweden, co-directors Antonio Tublén and Alexander Brøndsted's "Original."

The lone film from the Southern Hemisphere and from the Americas is Brazilian director Guel Arraes's "Romance."

Asian Jin Jue competitors are Jang Hun from South Korea, with the film, "Rough Cut"; China's Wanma Caidan with "Soul Searching," and Yao Shuhua's "Empire Of Silver," a co-production between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Tang Lijun, managing director of the festival held in China's financial hub and largest city, said she is proud also to host the 5th Asian New Talent Awards for debut or sophomore feature films presented or released since Jan. 1, 2008, by directors with an Asian citizenship.

The 2009 Asian New Talent nominees are: from Japan, "Days with You," by Amiy Mori, and "Vacation," by Kadoi Hajime; from the Philippines, "The Prince of Cockfighting," by Yeng Grande; from India, "A Wednesday," by Neeraj Pandey"; from Iran, "Be Calm and Count to 7," by Ramtin Iavafipour; from South Korea, "The Scandal Makers" by Kang Hyeong-Cheol; from Singapore, "The Days," by Boi Kwong; from China, "Jalainur," by Zhao Ye, and "The Walk to School" by Peng Jiahuang.

The festival also will feature a film market from June 14-16 and, from June 15-17, two sections for working filmmakers hoping to attract producers and investors to their works in progress.  These "pitch and catch" sessions are aimed at domestic filmmakers interested in working with the state-run China Film Group and also at visiting artists interested in finding a local co-production partner to help raise the chance of distribution in China's growing market.

China limits the number of imported films allowed to share in their own boxoffice take each year to 20. Certain co-productions, however, can skirt this import cap.

Each year the SIFF provides Chinese moviegoers a rare opportunity to see hundreds of imported films on the big screen, films that otherwise would only be available on pirated DVD or via illegal download.