…Okay, sorry, but I don’t really know Chinese very well. You’ll have to forgive my use of the online free translator. I have to say this was one of the best events I’ve ever attended. It was truly amazing. The GPIFF, or Golden Panda International Film Festival, features foreign films from other countries, but mainly this content comes from China. China and North America have a good strong bond together in the name of film. This festival shows why the two should definitely collaborate further in the future. Chinese films are in fact done in more different styles than the traditional Hollywood movies. They have different variable viewpoints, over 12,000 film companies, and a bustling economy. So how do we get that here? Host an elaborate event that’s well-arranged and hosted at some of Vancouver’s most cultural places. It was also hosted in dual languages, English and Chinese. Here’s all the really cool things that happened this year:
Public Screenings : No film festival is complete without a load of movies that have been submitted to the festival. Lots of amazing works came out including Crested Ibis, Borderline, Triumphant Reunion, Last Animals, and The Song of Sway Lake. There are so much more other than the few I’ve mentioned, and they’re all very interesting.
Industry Forum : Hosted at the 4 Seasons Hotel from 9 to 12, folks from the Chinese film industry and the North American film industry came together to give speeches on how to succeed in the industry, and what it takes. Guests included Jan Walls, Robert Wong, Li Haihua, Stephen Nemeth, John Dippong, Bo Svenson, and a few others. Topics included how screenwriters are highly valued, the percentage increases of box office marketing, and how a majority of people get emotionally involved, all within the Chinese film industry. Once again with the dual languages, I’m glad there were portable headset devices that could translate all the Chinese spoken. This was a good opportunity to network with executives.
Project Pitch Event : Going from 1:30 to 4:30, a couple of filmmakers both newcomers and experienced, came up to an assortment of industry professionals from the industry forum, and pitched their ideas. The pitches were unique, and interesting, but what really brought out this event further was when the panel asked some questions on how these filmmakers were going to manage. Bo Svenson really gave some strong valid points. And to top it off, China Film Co’s General Manager Jiang Ping gave a loud and enthusiastic speech about the industry.
Industry Party : Hosted at the Vancouver Art Gallery, this event brought people together, showcased live classical music for ambience and gave out free booze, specifically a brand of wine. A bit strong for my taste, personally. With more impressive speeches, this event brought great enthusiasm to all. English and Chinese speeches were done separately by different people. This was also a good opportunity to network with executives.
Awards Ceremony : Time to wrap things up at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. In an interesting way, I somehow got a seat on the final row. The absolute last. It almost didn’t exist either. Aside from the amazing speeches which mentioned the high effectiveness of motion pictures, the awards ceremony was more than just awards this year, as parts in between featured some musical performances to add a little flair and soothe things as well. To conclude the ceremony, a group of talented children sang “We are the world” and then finally, me along with many other people got to participate by being part of the large on-stage photograph. Having media accreditation has its benefits.
This was one of the greatest film festivals I’ve ever been to. It has given me an insider look on China’s film industry, and gives me hope that there will be productions coming from our neighbours across the ocean. It also satisfies me to know there will be more work involving China and Canada doing more collaborative film work in the future. Of course, it’s not just China, but all around the world. It is international after all. I hope for the best of luck for all those visited our cold country this year, and gave us a fantastic perspective. 谢谢，明年再见！(I should probably get a translator for next year…)