Global film festival a hit
More than 100 films from all around the world competed in the second annual Canadian International Film and Television Festival. The three day event, which took place on Nov 6–8 in Vancouver, rolled out the red carpet for a guest list that included top Hollywood professionals as well as local government officials.
With a focus on both diverse cultures and cinematic excellence, the finalists included films from Ukraine, Georgia, USA, China and Canada.
“There are a lot of film festivals right now,” Demi Zhang, president of the Canadian Film and Television Institute (CFTI) and president of the North America (International) Multicultural Filmmakers Society, said in an interview with China Daily. “We’re trying to make this as professional as possible and as multicultural as possible.”
“We are the only film festival in the world to have so many cultures involved. This year, we have over 100 films,” Zhang said. “There is no discrimination. We have films from Vietnam, India, Nepal, Iran, Israel, as well as Asian ones. Everyone brings a love for films and trusts us enough to make this film festival happen. To me, this has meaning. I want to give film-lovers from around the world a big platform.”
Attendees at this year’s awards presentation included Senator Yonah Martin; Georges Leclére, former senior vice-president and executive director of the International
China will definitely be one of the most sought after [film] targets.”
Emmy Awards; Richard Lee, MLA for Burnaby North; Bill Harper, New Westminster councillor; David Traub, Hollywood producer and Harvard University Professor; Christopher Brough, president of Movie Plus Entertainment Group; and Michel Zgarka, chairman and CEO of XII Tribes Entertainment, among others.
This year’s festival featured special panels for student actors and filmmakers to interact with industry professionals, in addition to the screenings and awards ceremony.
Professionals in the film industry especially emphasized the need for more cooperative films between China and the West. Michel Zgarka said, “I think China will definitely be one of the most sought after [film] targets due to its creativity and the potential of doing more interesting bilateral productions between North America and China. I think this festival is a perfect match for putting all those cultures together.”
George Leclére also said that Chinese movies are growing. “The actors, the directors, the producers are starting to be known,” he said.