Beijing International Film Festival aims to be top movie event

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-21 08:43:45

Beijing International Film Festival aims to be top movie event

Arnold Schwarzenegger draws a big crowd of fans while walking the red carpet of the Beijing International Film Festival.[Photo By Jiang Dong/China Daily]

Industry players agree that the organizers' plan to hit the big time in three to five years is possible. Xu Fan reports.

The rapidly expanding Chinese market for movies has drawn increasing attention from around the world. The ongoing 5th Beijing International Film Festival, one of the country's major film events, has drawn a record number of participating stars, some 300 at the opening ceremony in northern Beijing last Thursday night, and hundreds of world-renowned filmmakers at the following meetings. There is also a long list of celebrities.

The event, which runs through Thursday, had a lift-off when Hollywood action star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave warm hugs and handshakes to the screaming fans alongside the red carpet.

The festival's organizers have given themselves three to five years to make the Beijing International Film Festival rank as the top movie event in Asia, on a level with the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, says Zhao Zhiyong, executive deputy secretary-general with the festival's committee, in a news release on last Tuesday.

French veteran filmmaker Luc Besson, who leads a seven-member panel to select the best picture and other nine awards for the festival's Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Awards, believes that is achievable.

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