The 1st International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao Opened today with Angelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller’s POLINA

Macao, 8 December, 2016

The inaugural International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (IFFAM) officially opened today with the Asian premiere of POLINA (Polina, danser sa vie), a film by Angelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller, starring Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider, Guskov Aleksei and Juliette Binoche. The directors, actors Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider and Guskov Aleksei and producer Didier Creste were in Macao to present the film.

IFFAM is organized by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and Macau Film & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA), co-organized with Cultural Affairs Bureau (Macao), Civil & Municipal Affairs Bureau (Macao), supported by Macao Foundation, with the Galaxy Entertainment Group, Sands China Limited, Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A., MGM China Holdings Ltd. as Premium sponsors, and THE 13 as Diamond sponsor. IFFAM aims to bring members of the local and international film community together to create opportunities for cultural, creative and business collaboration, and to introduce local audiences to a wide range of genres and styles from across the world.

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Mr. Alexis Tam and President of Organizing Committee of IFFAM Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (Director of Macao Government Tourism Office) were present at the opening ceremony. Ms. Fernandes commented,” Macao is a place where cultures from the East and West were orchestrated into a beautiful symphony. It has served as the location for a number of film shootings. Events of international stature demonstrate our capabilities and introduce world-class exchange opportunities to the local cultural and creative industry. The synergy between culture and tourism enriches visitors’ experience in Macao, and steers the tourism industry and the cultural and creative industry towards sustainable development, ultimately supporting Macao’s quest to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. ”

The opening ceremony and opening night screening were held at the Macao Cultural Centre, one of the Festival’s key venues, and were hosted by actors Eric Tsang (one of the Festival’s Honorary Advisors), Bowie Tsang and Derek Tsang. Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and IFFAM Organizing Committee Executive Vice President Mr. Alvin Chau welcomed an international line-up of guests at this evening’s star-studded event. Alongside the POLINA team, other guests who attended included:

• The IFFAM Competition Jury, headed by Jury President Shekhar Kapur, with jury members Jung Woo Sung, Makiko Watanabe, Stanley Kwan and Giovanna Fulvi
• IFFAM Image Ambassador and actress Zhang Ziyi
• IFFAM Talent Ambassador and actor Jang Keun Suk
• Actors and actresses Jessica Sooyoun Jung, Rosamund Kwan Chi Lam, Zhang Jin, Kara Wai Ying Hung, Celina Jade, Ludi Lin, Lisa Lu, Sakuraba Nanami and Vanessa Yeung
• Directors and Festival Ambassadors Choi Dong Hoon, Clemens Klopfenstein (also the subject of a Special Presentation of two of his films), Kim Jee Woon and Lu Chuan
• President of Fox International Productions Tomas Jegeus
• Toronto Film Festival Director Cameron Bailey, Rotterdam Festival Director Bero Beyer, Sabrina Baracetti (Far East Film Festival, Italy), Edinburgh International Film Festival Director Mark Adams, and Busan Festival Director and Chairman Kang Soo Hyun and Kim Dong Ho.

Also joining industry guests on the red carpet were film industry professionals from worldwide. Local broadcaster Teledifusão de Macau (TDM) and FOX TV will broadcast the red carpet and opening ceremony.The festival will showcase the best of Asian and international cinema with a program of 12 Competition films, 3 Galas, Hidden Dragons (9 films representing the latest trends in contemporary Asian genre cinema), Crossfire (12 East Asian genre film directors and their chosen genre favorites), 9 award-winning feature films from major international festivals in the Best of Fest Panorama alongside the Special Presentation of 2 Clemens Klopfenstein films and 2 Jang Keun Suk short films. In addition the Festival will hold a Hollywood Special Presentation. For its inaugural edition the IFFAM have selected Gwei Lun-mei as its Actress in Focus and will screen 3 of her films.

In addition, the Crouching Tigers Project Lab will welcome 12 projects, each represented by its director and/or producer, to this new destination for industry professionals seeking original opportunities for the co-production and co-financing of their film projects. There will also be two Masterclasses with director Tom McCarthy (THE STATION AGENT, SPOTLIGHT) and producer Gianni Nunnari. Other activities which have already taken place under the auspices of the Festival include the British Film Academy Project – a one week training course in collaboration with the BFI, with the winning film being screened during the Festival; the CINEFANTASY International Short Film Screenwriting Competition and the Macao Short Film Competition for aspiring local filmmakers.
The Festival will close on December 13 with a glittering awards ceremony. Award winners decided by the jury members from the Competition films will receive a trophy designed by three times Oscar winning production designer Mr. Dante Ferretti, while there will also be a Macao Audience Choice Award presented to one of the films in competition, with the ‘Eyes of the Audience’ trophy designed by local resident Cheong Wai Pan, winner of the Macao Trophy Design competition. In addition, there will be a Career Achievement Award and a MFTPA Special Award for Contribution to Chinese Film Award dedicated to honoring filmmakers with outstanding achievements in the field. The TRAIN TO BUSAN team will also receive Variety Magazine’s Asian Blockbuster Film 2016 Award at the ceremony. Local broadcaster TDM will live broadcast and FOX TV will broadcast the closing night ceremony and Awards.
IFFAM has assembled an impressive line-up of local and international advisors to support the Festival’s development. These include; International Advisors: Michael Werner, Oh Jung Wan, Olivier Père (all in attendance this evening), Luis Urbano, Huang Jian Xin, Nansun Shi and James Schamus; Honorary Advisors: Michael Mecca, Eric Tsang, Wilfred Wong, Alex Dong, Linda Chen, Paco Wong, Grant Bowie and Shi Jun Guo; Special Advisors: Deborah Valdez Hung, Stephen Hung, Tiffany Chen and Charles Heung.

Couching Tigers Project Lab Partners are the Sitges Festival (Spain), the Blood Window Lab at Ventana Sur Market (Argentina) and the Frontières Lab (Canada). The Award sponsors are Fox International Productions, Ivanhoe Pictures and Huace Media.

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