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Published: 10:45, June 04, 2023 | Updated: 10:49, June 05, 2023
Film festival launches ticket sales as venue gets star treatment
By Zhang Kun in Shanghai
Published:10:45, June 04, 2023 Updated:10:49, June 05, 2023 By Zhang Kun in Shanghai

All Ears, a film shortlisted for the main competition section at the 25th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Online ticket sales for films to be showcased at the 25th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival begins at noon on Friday.

Hosted by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the China Media Group and the Shanghai municipal government, this year's SIFF will take place from Thursday to June 16 and showcase more than 400 films in 41 cinemas around the city.

This year, the SIFF, which is one of the 14 competitive feature film festivals in the world accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, received a total of 8,800 film submissions from 128 countries and regions. These will compete for the Golden Goblet Awards in five categories: the main competition, Asian new talent, documentary films, animation films and short films.

About half of the films were submitted between December 2021 and March 2022, and chose to stay on the competition list for a year after the 25th edition of the SIFF was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dolphin Boy, a film in the animation section. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

The festival announced the 12 feature films shortlisted for the main competition on Monday. Three of them are Chinese films: All Ears directed by Liu Jiayin, Dust to Dust by Jonathan Li, and Good Autumn, Mommy by Chen Shizhong.

The most anticipated of the three Chinese films is arguably All Ears, which stars veteran actors Hu Ge and Qi Xi, as well as rising star Wu Lei. The film tells the story of the life of an unsuccessful playwright who finds a new job writing obituaries. As he meets people from all walks of life and tries to console them while doing his job, the protagonist ends up finding the meaning of his own life.

This year's SIFF jury panel will consist of 21 members from 12 countries and regions, 11 of whom are from China. The jury members will not only work as judges for the five-category Golden Goblet Awards, but also showcase their own creations at the festival and hold panel discussions at the Golden Goblet forum to share their filmmaking experience.

One of the 41 cinemas participating in the SIFF this year is the Shanghai Film Art Center, which recently celebrated its reopening after about 15 months of renovations.

Leap of Faith, a film in the documentary section. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Built in 1991, the center has been the main venue for SIFF since its establishment in 1993.The 1,008-seater main auditorium, where many international blockbusters have made their China premieres, now has a Dolby laser projection system and immersive audio system, making it one of the first Dolby auditorium with more than 1,000 seats in Asia.

A 29-meter-long and 6-meter-wide canopy LED screen has also been installed in the lobby of the center to showcase trailers for new movies.

The renovation involved opening new passages between the film center and neighboring buildings. The outdoor stairs have also been removed to create more public space in front of the center.

"We want to break down the boundary between the center and the community and welcome more people to come and enjoy the art of movies," Wang Jian'er, president of the Shanghai Film Group, told local media.

"I believe the attraction of film art, together with the tree-lined street view and historical buildings along Xinhua Road, will make this center a popular leisure hub for film lovers and other people," he added.

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