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China Daily

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Monday, April 15, 2019, 11:45
Beijing International Film Festival opens
By Xu Fan
Monday, April 15, 2019, 11:45 By Xu Fan

French actress Sophie Marceau greets the crowd at the opening ceremony of the Ninth Beijing International Film Festival in Beijing, April 13, 2019. (JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY)

The Ninth Beijing International Film Festival kicked off on Saturday, with more than 200 filmmakers and crew members from 50 films appearing on the red carpet for the opening ceremony in northeastern Beijing's Huairou district.

Domestic films The Wandering Earth, The Composer and The Eleventh Chapter are among the 15 nominated films, which were selected from 775 movies from 85 countries and regions, vying for the Tiantan Award

Among the luminaries were French actress Sophie Marceau, United States actor Christopher Walken, Japanese actress Komaki Kurihara, and Chinese actor Hu Ge and actress Dilraba Dilmurat.

Marceau said she expects to meet Chinese filmmakers and exchange ideas with them. She revealed that she is currently shooting a film in China.

This year's box office haul had surpassed 20 billion yuan (US$2.98 billion) as of Saturday night, with the top three films being domestic titles, according to a Maoyan tracking service release on Saturday.

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The Wandering Earth, the sci-fi blockbuster that has topped this year's box office charts, is shortlisted alongside two other Chinese films-The Composer and The Eleventh Chapter-and 12 foreign rivaling movies in competition for the festival's top honor, the Tiantan Award.

The 15 nominated films were selected from 775 movies from 85 countries and regions.

As the first Sino-Kazakh coproduction, The Composer, a biographical drama about the last five years of musician Xian Xinghai's life, was screened at the opening on Saturday night.

Rob Minkoff, president of the Tiantan Award jury panel, said, "All filmmakers from around the world are obviously very interested in telling stories that would appeal to Chinese audiences."

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Minkoff, best known for the Oscar-winning animated film The Lion King and as director of the Sino-US kung fu blockbuster The Forbidden Kingdom, said the most important element for a successful film is to make an interesting story with good characters.

At the market segment of the annual festival, one of China's best-recognized film events, promoters of 735 cinematic projects will be seeking investors. The festival will screen nearly 500 films from China and abroad.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, whose romance drama Zero will be screened as the closing film of the festival, will join a China-India film coproduction forum and appear on the red carpet at the closing ceremony on Saturday.


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