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2nd Hainan Island Intl Film Festival

Hainan film festival opens with starry gala, red carpet

CGTN | Updated: 2019-12-04

Stars from in front and behind the camera from the global film industry are gathering in the tropical coastal city of Sanya on Sunday as the 2nd Hainan Island International Film Festival (HIIFF) kicked off in China's southernmost island province of Hainan.

The film festival is co-hosted by China Media Group (CMG) and the provincial government of Hainan, under the guidance of the China Film Administration. 

At the grand evening gala at the opening ceremony of the 2nd HIIFF, Shen Haixong, president of CMG, called on global film industry insiders to work together to develop the Hainan Island International Film Festival. Shen also expressed hopes that people in the know should contribute to the development of the global film industry and build a community of shared future for mankind.

Also speaking at the gala, Isabelle Huppert - head of the jury – expressed her strong expectations for this year's event. "The film festival last year was very vigorous," said the 66-year-old French actress, "Films bring different people together. I can't wait to see the shortlisted films with the other jury members.”


Singing and dancing performances at the evening gala of the 2nd Hainan Island International Film Festival. /CGTN Photo

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. A special section titled "A tribute to the 70th anniversary" was presented at Sunday's evening gala. Eleven Chinese artists recalled the development of China's film industry over the past seven decades.

Besides singing and dancing, the evening gala also unveiled the films for this year's Golden Coconut Awards. Only 13 films out of 1,495 candidates from 80 countries were shortlisted this year.

A glittering array of A-listers swept up the red carpet as the 2nd Hainan Island International Film Festival (HIIFF) kicked off in China's tropical seaside city of Sanya on Sunday.

Simon West, Hannah Quinlivan and Bee Rogers appeared on the red carpet held outside of the Rosewood hotel with their upcoming big budget disaster film "Skyfire." Calling it a Chinese movie made for the world, British director Simon West tells a story of salvation after a volcanic eruption. It's set to hit the cinema on December 12.

World renowned singer Sarah Brightman was another big name parading along the starry red carpet. The British artist became a household name in China after singing "You and Me" – the theme song for the 2008 Beijing Olympics – with renowned Chinese singer Liu Huan. Brightman also treated the audience to renditions of "Scarborough Fair" and "Nessun Dorma" at the evening gala. 

Famous Chinese singer Chen Xiaochun, actors Zhang Yi, Ren Dahua, and actresses Huang Shengyi and Chen Qiaoen were also among the celebrities at the scene.

Link for the live broadcasting of the red carpet ceremony for the 2nd HIIFF:


More than awards

This year, the "Golden Coconut Award" is open for three categories for the first time: features, documentaries and short films, alongside the specially established "Best Children's Film" award. 

The finalist that'll nab the the best film in the features category will be granted a bonus of 250,000 yuan (35,500 U.S. dollars).

The film festival, however, is not only about awards. HIIFF is dedicated to strengthening international film and culture exchange and collaboration. "H!Action," for example, is a section set up to collect venture capital investment for potential film projects. Another section named "H!Market" organizes a variety of film-related forums over the next week.

The 2nd HIIFF will run till December 8.