Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival begins

13:37, October 15, 2009      

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Zhang Ziyi in Forever Enthralled. (CFP Photo)

The 18th China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival (Jinji Baihua) opened last night with a star-studded gala event attended by some of China's most well-known actors and filmmakers. This year's festival is expected to be grander than ever before, hoping to gain ground on dwindling industry and audience appeal.

The festival is being held in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province and as it is the 60th anniversary of both the People's Republic of China and the China Film Association, which founded the Golden Rooster Film Awards in 1981, this year's four-day festival is expected to be the best yet.

Regarded as China's first and most official film festival, the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival combines two major film awards but has been losing support in recent years. According to a survey by China Youth Daily about last year's Hundred Flowers Awards, decided by popular vote, 97.4 percent of those surveyed had not voted at all, while 77 percent were not interested and 68.3 percent thought that nowadays the awards did not accurately represent the audience.

The Golden Rooster Awards are decided by experts and are often criticized for their neglect of the box office and audience feedback. To rectify the situation and restore the festival's past glory, this week's event includes many of the blockbusters from early this year and 2008, including The Assembly, Forever Enthralled and Painted Skin. International stars Jackie Chan (Police Story), Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Zhou Xun (The Equation of Love and Death) are expected to increase the festival's profile and draw attention to a comprehensive lineup of events.
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