The 25th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is scheduled to be unveiled on June 9, 2023. The Golden Goblet Awards Ceremony will be held at the Shanghai Grand Theater on the evening of June 17, while the city-wide screening event will add the finishing touch to the Festival on June 18.
As the only international competitive feature film festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations in China, SIFF celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Amidst these 30 years, SIFF has built upon the efforts of generations of Chinese filmmakers in pushing Chinese films onto the global stage for cross-cultural communication and mutual learning. Postponed by one year due to the epidemic, SIFF will go back live in its entirety in 2023 for the reunion long-expected by both Chinese cinemas and cinemas from around the world.
This year’s Golden Goblet Awards consist of five categories: the main competition for feature-length films and the competitions for Asian new talent, documentaries, animations, and short films. Since the call for entry launched worldwide at the end of last year until the submission deadline on March 31, SIFF has received nearly 8,800 entries from over 128 countries and regions, of which about 4,500 are entries submitted within the original submission period (that is, from December 2021 to March 2022). Although SIFF has been postponed for one year, these works still chose to participate in the competition for the highly-coveted Golden Goblet Awards and be featured in the Festival and enjoyed by their Chinese fans. The Festival has also received warm responses from cinemas across the city. After announcing the recruitment of screening cinemas, 112 cinemas submitted their applications within just one week.
Carrying on the philosophy of “Asia, Chinese, and New Talents” and through the accumulated efforts over the years, SIFF has developed a “6+1” step-by-step new talent cultivation system, which comprises SIFF EXPLORE, Golden Goblet Award Short Film, SIFF NEXT, SIFF PROJECT, Asian New Talent Awards, Golden Goblet Awards and SIFF YOUNG X. Among them, SIFF EXPLORE, based on short film works with a running time of 5 minutes or less, is designed to encourage young creative talents to explore film production to the fullest through solicitation, presentation, tracking, training and other forms. Compared with the same period in previous years, both the quantity and quality of entries this year have seen great improvement, thereby reflecting a continuous upward trend. Golden Goblet Award Short Film, as a competition segment, is open to animated short films and live action short films from all over the world. This year, the Festival will also introduce a specially curated collection of special-feature domestic and foreign short films to International Panorama. SIFF NEXT has received a total of more than 830 applications this year, including more than 540 submitted in 2022 and more than 290 submitted in 2023, of which 9% are by production teams, 25% by screenwriter teams, and 66% by director teams. SIFF NEXT will continue the two-phase model, that is the summer phase and the winter phase, to cultivate the next-generation filmmakers and incubate projects by a step-based approach. SIFF PROJECT, which has been held for 15 years, has also brought together exquisite works from the past two years, attracting a total of 682 projects, including 339 script projects in 2022, 265 in 2023, 38 work-in progress projects in 2022, and 40 in 2023. The second season of SIFF YOUNG X has expanded the scope of recommendation from directors to producers and screenwriters, and the list of shortlisted filmmakers will be announced during SIFF in June.
SIFF also serves as an open platform for connection. 2023 coincides with the 10th anniversary of the “Belt and Road” initiative as well as the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Film Festival Alliance and the Belt and Road Film Week. During the 25th SIFF, the Belt and Road Film Week will offer a glimpse into how blueprints are transformed into reality with films as a medium, in the pursuit of future development underlined by common values of cooperation and integration. SIFFORUM serves to pool industry wisdom and develop consensus, and bring cultural and artistic enlightenment to people every year. This year, there will be more than ten forums combined to touch upon topics such as international cooperation, film education innovation, science and technology and film integration, and science fiction films, to drive co-innovation. SIFF MARKET, which is committed to creating a diversified industrial chain and gathering industrial resources for the global film and TV production center, is accepting applications from film and TV companies and institutions across the world. This year, it will curate an ocean of interactive content for ordinary movie fans and citizens. The International Film & TV Online Market, emerging from trends of the era, will also continue to provide regular online services for exhibitors as a “virtual” sub-venue. Asia’s first large-scale independent film and TV festival Metaverse – Metafilm, jointly created by Shanghai Culture Assets and Equity Exchange, China Data Chain, the super node of the national copyright transaction protection alliance chain, Shanghai International Film & TV Festivals, Co., Ltd., will also be launched during the SIFF and Shanghai TV Festival (STVF) in 2023, to connect impress audiences with films through more novel interactions and experiences.
The 25th SIFF will return to the limelight with a complete lineup of sections and the brand-new modes of expressions spawned by revolutionary technological progress and innovation. Thirty years dedicated to the art of film have passed by in a flash. In 2023, the 30-year-old SIFF looks forward to all walks of life coming together in a warm and joyful celebration of cinema in this filmmakers’ city of dreams.