Hainan's inaugural film fest kicks off

  The first Hainan International Film Festival opened Tuesday in the tropical coastal city of Sanya of China's southernmost island province of Hainan, with ambition to establish a "different festival" on the cinematograph map of the world.

  Chinese actor Chang Chen, actress Jiang Wenli, American actor Nicolas Cage and local officials launch the first Hainan International Film Festival at an opening ceremony held in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  The first Hainan International Film Festival opened Tuesday night in the tropical coastal city of Sanya of China's southernmost island province of Hainan, aiming to offer a different festival experience.

  In a speech at the opening ceremony, Tong Daochi, Communist Party chief of Sanya, said that, against the background of China embracing a new round of opening-up with top-level design, the film festival is appearing at a critical moment when Hainan is promoting the development of a pilot free trade zone and exploring establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

  "It is therefore more meaningful in offering a high starting point and a strategic vision," Tong said, adding Hainan aims to build itself into a major player in the film industry not only in China but also in Asia, while "presenting film artists worldwide with a totally different international film festival full of tropical charm."

  The word of "different" could be felt in selection of the films to be shown. Lacking big-budget productions, the festival's film exhibition program is screening more than 100 films from over 30 countries and regions comprising mostly low-and-medium-budget, art-house, critically-applauded and rarely known titles outside the realm of Hollywood and Chinese blockbusters.

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  American actor Nicolas Cage and his female companion pose for a photo on the red carpet for the first Hainan International Film Festival that opened in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  The program will feature the world premieres of "Uncle and House," "The Photographer" and "Vanishing Facial Makeup," the Asian premieres of "Winter Ridge," "Night Accident," "The Swan," "Handle with Care," Hello, Rain!" and "Yantai Mountain," as well as a virtual reality (VR) short film section and a special unit focusing on Peking-Opera-adapted films such as "Dragon and Phoenix Present Auspiciousness," "Farewell My Concubine" and "Mu Guiying Taking Command."

  Li Shanshan, curator of the exhibition, said: "In this geographically special island of Hainan, we have designed a program of eight distinctive sections as well as a Next Wave Hainan section introducing local filmmakers."

  There was another big feature for Hainan film fest, Li added, explaining that, "with warm sea winds and soft sandy beaches, the tourist-landmark Dadong Sea in Sanya will remain a paradise for worldwide visitors in daytime, while turning into a special free sand cinema" at night, offering selected feature films, silent films with live music, and short films from different screening units.

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  Chinese actor Zhu Yilong, poses for a photo on the red carpet for the first Hainan International Film Festival that opened in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  This year's film festival has invited kung fu megastar Jackie Chan to be its promotional ambassador, and bringing together nearly 100 domestic and international filmmakers and artists, such as Ren Zhonglun, chairman of the Shanghai Film Group, and Jim Rygiel, producer of "The Lord of The Rings," famous actors Chang Chen, Zhu Yilong, Wang Baoqiang as well as Nicolas Cage, Isabelle Huppert and Aamir Khan.

  The Irish-Norwegian band Secret Garden and Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen have also been invited to perform at the festival.

  In a congratulatory message to the festival, Jackie Chan wrote: Hainan International Film Festival presents the rich wisdom and intellectual products of humanity to show China's open and inclusive culture and spirit with moving stories of the harmonious development of China and the world.

  American actor Nicolas Cage, who has worked with Chinese director John Woo, praised Hainan at the opening ceremony, saying he believed the island province was a good place to shoot films and he hoped to work with his Chinese counterparts here in the future, as he had been awed by the island's landscapes on his first visit here. The actor attended a launch ceremony for a new film museum in Sanya earlier the day.

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  American actress Maggie Q speaks to the audience when she appeared onstage during the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  The festival, which will run from Dec. 11 to 16, aims to build a platform for communication, cooperation, and trade in the international film industry. According to the organizing committee, it features a wide variety of activities, such as film exhibitions and forums with industry heavyweights.

  Chinese actor Chang Chen poses for a photo on the red carpet at the the first Hainan International Film Festival, which opened in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen performs "My Heart Will Go On", theme song from the movie "Titanic", at the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Chinese director Xie Fei speaks to the audience during the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Tong Daochi, Communist Party chief of Sanya, speaks to the audience during the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Chinese actress Jiang Wenli poses for a photo on the red carpet at the first Hainan International Film Festival that opened in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang poses for a photo on the red carpet at the first Hainan International Film Festival that opened in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  A Peking Opera artist performs at the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  The Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden performs "You Raise Me Up" at the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Domestic and international movie stars seated in the front row to watch the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

  Singers Jin Zhiwen, Shen Xiaocen and local dancers perform the finale dance number at the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya, Hainan province, Dec. 11, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

Responsible editor: 周玉敏
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