“Let’s enjoy the best films in Beijing this Spring!” This is a sincere invitation for you from the Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF). On April 3, 2023, the Organizing Committee of the 13th Beijing International Film Festival held a press conference, announcing that the 13th BJIFF will take place on April 22 to April 29, 2023 under the theme of “Sharing Culture, Shared Future”.
The 13th BJIFF is guided by China Film Administration, hosted by China Media Group and People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, and organized by Beijing Municipal Film Administration, Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau, Beijing Radio & Television Station (BRTV), Huairou District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, and Beijing Enterprises Group Company Limited.
Entering 2023, the beginning to implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the 13th BJIFF that pioneered to fully return to normal offline among all the international film festivals will continue to create a vivid and far-sighted space for the film industry. While building the community with a shared future for mankind based on films, the 13th BJIFF will strive to step up the construction of the “four centers” of Beijing in the international, professional and audience-centered perspective, thus offering “China’s solution” and “Beijing’s vitality” for the development and prosperity of the international community of films.
- 1,488 Entries to Tiantan Award with Chinese Director Zhang Yimou as Jury President
BJIFF is the pool of inspirations for filmmakers who never stop seeking passion and vitality from arts. A new historical record of 1,488 entries from 93 countries and regions was registered for Tiantan Award this year. Of all the entries by world-renowned and rising directors, the finalists were: Adiós Buenos Aires (Germany/Argentine), Ciao (China), Driving Madeleine (France), Lost in the Stars (China), Men of Deeds (Romania/Bulgaria), Scrapper (Britain), Sisters (Latvia/Italy), The Lulus (France), The Man Without Guilt (Slovenia/Italy/Croatia), The Punishment (Chile/Argentina), The Shadowless Tower (China), Time Out (Belgium/France), To Catch A Killer (America), Totem (Mexico/Denmark/France), and Until Branches Bend (Canada). All these films represent the glory and pursuit of excellence of the filmmakers across the globe.
Chinese director Zhang Yimou will serve as the Jury President of Tiantan Award for the 13th BJIFF to lead the members to decide on the winners of the ten awards based on his marvelous artistic accomplishment.
- Rebirth of Glories for BJIFF at the Nine Sections to be Held Offline
The 13th BJIFF will provide a great variety of events & activities to add appeal to this beautiful Beijing, including Competition Section, Tiantan Award, Opening Ceremony, Beijing Film Panorama, Theme Forum, Beijing Film Market, Film Carnival, Beijing College Student Film Festival, Closing & Awards Ceremony, and “Film+”, all of which will be held offline. Meanwhile, “Online BJIFF” will continue to play its role in screening, interaction, video-on-demand, and market, of which “Online Screenings”, “Online Video-on-Demand”, and other functions will be enabled on iQIYI platform.
During the 2023 Spring Festival period, the market of Chinese films experienced a good start with more glories created by Chinese filmmakers, which showed remarkable vitality of China with the world “together for a shared future”. With the keywords of “Great Spring, New Journey”, the Opening Ceremony of this year’s BJIFF is expected to bring another “glory of films” to the world by Yanqi Lake in Huairou District. More than 200 Chinese and foreign guests will gather at the Red Carpet and the Opening Ceremony to express their appreciation for the filmmakers, memories for the times, gratitude to the audience and anticipations for the future. Beijing 2022, the official film of the Beijing Winter Olympics, supervised by Zhang Yimou and directed by Lu Chuan, will serve as the opening film of the 13th BJIFF. On April 29, at the Closing Ceremony, the winners of Tiantan Award will be unveiled to manifest the ideals and beliefs of filmmakers at home and abroad.
The Opening Ceremony of the 13th BJIFF will be first broadcasted on the clients of People’s Daily and China Daily, in addition to the traditional platforms like China Media Group, Beijing Satellite TV, yangshipin.cn, CCTV.com, 1905.com, btime.com and iQIYI. Moreover, CGTV under China Media Group will also broadcast this grand event worldwide in various languages to further enhance its influence.
- The Shawshank Redemption, Aftersun, Here, Sur l’Adamant…a Feast of Eyes at Beijing Film Panorama
One of the highly-anticipated parts of the BJIFF, Beijing Film Panorama will showcase over 160 films of various themes, genres, and nations this year at 27 cinemas and theaters to highlight BJIFF’s international vision, artistic sense and humanistic care for the audience.
Beijing Film Panorama, while forging a “small but delicate and elegant” event, is planned to screen 12 restored classical films like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Rouge, eight “WB 100” classics like The Shawshank Redemption and Casablanca, and approximately 45 official recommendations by international film festivals for the past two years. In addition, the blockbusters directed by Zhang Yimou, Jury President of Tiantan Award of the 13th BJIFF, Seijun Suzuki, famous Japanese director, will be screened concurrently with a dozen of activities and events like the “10th Anniversary of Belt and Road Initiative x Way Forward with Lenovo: Asian Cinema Networking”, “Filmmakers in Focus”, “BVLGARI·Journey to Italian Film”, “Dimension”, “Women’s Voice”, “Reality Rocks”, “Animation”, “Carnival”, “Vision”, “Chinese New Wave”, and “Online Sharing”, in order to bring audience novel, abundant and solid experience.
During the Beijing Film Panorama, “Thailand Film Week” and “Japan Film Week” will present us the latest and classical films of the two countries; excellent sports films will be screened at Beijing International Sports Film Week; and “Weekend Package for Convention Town” will be released for sale. Just “Spend Your Weekend at the Film Town”!
The VR Section will be upgraded into XR Section this year to demonstrate the integration of XR imaging technologies in arts.
- BJIFF Forums for A Great Film Power, with Workshops & Masterclasses led by Zhang Yimou to Inspire Filmmakers
As China is transiting from a country with a huge number of films to a film power, the Theme Forum this year will upgrade the “Film Power Forum” to a higher level with three themes – “China’s Stories in Films”, “Cultural Exchange with Films”, and “Exploration, Pursuit and Creation of Realistic Films” where influential domestic and foreign guests in the industry will be invited as an attempt to highlight the internationalization, professionalism and leadership of BJIFF.
During the 13th BJIFF, China Film Investment and Financing Summit, Young Filmmakers Forum and China Film Capital Development Forum will also be ready for the participants.
For the workshops & masterclasses, world-renowned filmmakers will share their experience of filmmaking under the globalization and industrialization of the film industry to enlighten others. At Zhang Yimou’s Masterclass, Chen Luyu will be the host to have a dialogue with Song Jinfang, a famous screenwriter.
- Beijing Film Market to be Settled in Langyuan Station for an “Everlasting Film Festival”
The Beijing Film Market is designed to bridge the gap between creators and the market, injecting vitality into the industry for self-development. This year, Beijing Film Market will be relocated to Langyuan Station in Chaoyang District. As the first international film festival recovered offline, BJIFF is dedicated to enhancing the innovation and upgrading of the regional consumer market, unleashing the vitality of the market of culture consumption, promoting and encouraging exhibitors, guests， and the audience to use digital RMB in joint efforts with financial institutions to support the building of a benchmark digital city. BJIFF is actively organizing fresh graduates in and out of Beijing to participate in market activities by holding the first BJIFF Job Fair for enterprises and graduates. This year, a cultural derivative exhibition will be set up to promote the development and sales of film derivatives and drive the growth of cultural consumption. BJIFF, for the first time, entered into several long-term cooperation agreements with industrial parks and the International Cultural Original Youth Talent Parlor of Chaoyang District to organize venture capital sharing sessions and industry salons from time to time throughout the year to activate the film & TV resources to forge an “Everlasting BJIFF”.
A total of 874 entries were registered for BJIFF Project Pitches this year, a record high. The strongest lineup of the jury is formed this year, including director Peter Chan as president, director and screenwriter Zhang Ji, actress and executive producer Yao Chen, director Wen Muye, and actor Huang Xuan members. Meanwhile, a team of industry-leading “Chief Producers” will vote for the “Most Market Focus Award”. In addition, a number of outstanding projects from Hong Kong International Film Festival entered the review at the “Hong Kong, China Subsection” of the Project Pitches.
The 19th Beijing International Sports Film Week, based on the superior resources and influence of BJIFF, will offer various amazing events & activities on sports to continue the passion of Beijing Winter Olympics and further integrate the sports and recreation industries. An exhibition area of sports derivatives will also be set up at the Beijing Film Market, along with the “Sports Film Project Support Fund” at the Project Pitches. More surprisingly, sub-venues will be established in Chongli Olympics Park and National Ski Jumping Centre in Zhangjiakou to convey the “wealth” and spirit of Olympics.
■Spanning the Short Public Holiday, the Film Carnival Combines Film and Recreation Activities
Fun Childhood in Scenic Outdoors. The 13th BJIFF Film Carnival celebrates life with films. With the theme of “Film Feast in Picturesque Huairou”, the Film Carnival is to be held from April 22 to May 3, during which more than 40 activities and approximately 100 experiential events are to be organized in 18 venues across the district. In this way, well-known tourist attractions and business areas in the district are empowered, and the experience of film culture plus recreation is fully strengthened. This year, in parallel with the construction of China Film Capital, the BJIFF will maximize the premium resources of the Huairou Campus, Beijing Film Academy, and continue to expand its influence.
■With the Theme of “Establish Ourselves Towards the Light”, the Beijing College Student Film Festival Encourages College Students to Actively Engage Themselves in the Cultural Construction of the Capital
The 30th Beijing College Student Film Festival (BCSFF) will be held from April 23 to May 4. With the theme of “Establish Ourselves Towards the Light”, this edition will fully showcase its distinctive features of “Organized by College Students, Enjoyed by College Students, Filmed by College Students, Appraised by College Students”. This year, the BCSFF consists of Academic Forum, Film Screening, Featured Exhibition, Memorial Film, Youth Film Challenge Program, Young Filmmakers Forum, a call for papers for the Forum for International Young Scholars, and “Youth Honor” Exhibition Tour among other activities to look back on previous achievements and move forward. The festival is estimated to attract the participation of faculties and students from over 1,000 universities and colleges nationwide. Besides, in-depth cooperation is established with more than 50 universities and colleges involved in the Exhibition Tour. The BCSFF becomes a youth celebration event where college students from around China are engaged to tell China’s stories in the new era through films and contribute young power to the development of China’s films.
■Thailand Serves as the Guest of Honor of the 13th BJIFF, and Exchanges with Global Films
The BJIFF not only celebrates films, but also demonstrates China’s ambition and vision of establishing ties, exchanges and development with countries and regions around the globe. With Thailand being the Guest of Honor of the 13th BJIFF, its Ministry of Culture leader will address the Opening Ceremony via video. A delegation of Thai filmmakers will visit Beijing and attend various BJIFF activities to reinforce in-depth exchanges and cooperation.
■“Film+” Features Deep Crossover Integration and Innovation, Boosting the Night-time Economy Through Filmmaker Music Party
The BJIFF embraces crossover collaboration, and organizes various crossover activities in connection with films, reflecting its vigorous creativity. The highly anticipated China Beijing Film Night will have a filmmaker music party. Besides, there will be some other activities, including the “Love of Music” film soundtrack concert, Artistic Innovation Section, Science and Technology Section, Documentary Section, Forward Future Section, Beijing Ethnic Film Festival, “Brands Power Chinese Movies” Live Streaming for Nonprofits, Film Festival Mini-Marathon, Forum on High-quality Development of Public Welfare Films, Metaverse Film Forum, Game-Based Animated Films Section, Female Film Section, Beijing International Dance Video Festival, Short Video Section, Filmmaker Frisbee Invitational Tournament, Magic Editing Forum, “Light over Ink” · 8th China Filmmaker & Artist Works Invitational Exhibition, and 2nd ReelFocus Program, etc.
■With the Theme of “Spring is Coming”, the 13th BJIFF Poster Portrays the Poem of Films, and Expresses Best Wishes
The 13th BJIFF Poster features the theme of “Spring is Coming”. The three most common yet intoxicating colors of spring in Beijing were chosen, namely “light green”, symbolizing the green willow and grasses; “sky blue”, symbolizing the clear sky after the rain; and “light pink”, symbolizing blooming peach blossoms. The serial poster is like a painting of spring and a long poem in honor of spring, full of unique imageries of Chinese culture.
The film-willow branches hang at ease above the water, and the intertwining branches seem like a set of optical lenses. As the spring breeze blows and swallows return home, the willow branches gently sway and set off ripples across the water, forming the official logo of the BJIFF—windmill. In the upper part of the poster, the light contour of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (or Qiniandian), Temple of Heaven, looms above the distant skyline, quietly watching over the past and present of the capital with thousands of years of history. The symbol of the BJIFF Tiantan Award—Temple of Heaven carries the values of “Beauty in Variety, Harmony in Diversity”, and has always been and will be there for the BJIFF, guiding and safeguarding the original aspiration of generations of filmmakers. We will share the blueprint of endeavor, learn from each other’s flourishing culture, and join hands in creating a new spring of prosperity and diversity.
With spring in the air, life’s alive in everything. The 13th BJIFF presents the resilience, bravery, high spirit, and hope of China’s films, reflects the profound and brilliant Chinese civilization, embodies the universal nature of film art, builds a bridge of friendship for exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, showcases China’s image, makes China’s voice heard, spreads China’s wisdom among diversified cultures worldwide, and creates the splendid “Sound of Spring” together with global filmmakers.