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Shanghai film festival rolls out red carpet

By Liu Wei and Zhang Kun (China Daily)

10:03, June 15, 2013

Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper heads the guest list of the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival that opens on Saturday and will run nine days.

Hooper, whose Les Miserables and The King's Speech were both released in China, will join French critic Michel Ciment, German director Chris Kraus and Chinese director Ning Hao to decide the winners of the 12 Golden Goblet Awards.

"A jury led by an internationally acclaimed filmmaker such as Mr Hooper will make the awards more authentic," said Ren Zhonglun, vice-president of the festival.

Two Chinese films are nominated: Hong Kong director Dante Lam's Unbeatable and mainland director Hu Xuehua's Amazing, with cameo appearances by NBA players Scottie Pippen and Dwight Howard.

The festival opens on Saturday night at Shanghai Cultural Square. About 400 celebrities, including Oliver Stone, Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau, will take to the red carpet.

The forums, a praised section of the festival for years, will kick off on Sunday.

Michael C. Ellis, Asia-Pacific president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association, Stephen Stites, vice-president of Goldman, Sachs & Co, and Ivy Zhong, vice-chairman of Beijing Galloping Horse Media Group, will discuss film financing in China, a market that replaced Japan as the second-largest box office territory in 2012.

In the "Chinese Capital's Long March to Hollywood" forum on Monday, panelists will address a trend that sees more investment in Hollywood from Chinese enterprises.

"After 20 years of Hollywood blockbusters dominating the Chinese market, the Chinese film industry is ready to step up," said Ben Ji, managing director of Reach Glory Media Group and host of the discussion.

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