Since September, well-known international film festivals all over the world have started one after another. From Europe to North America, everyone is proud of the new films that’s attracted by star directors and actors, each has a contest that whose “world premieres” won by themselves can become the “prize harvesters”. The Cannes Film Festival has just fine-tuned its selection strategy in this year, slightly estranged it from directors with a Hollywood background. As the result, everywhere has hissed and booed, and “starlight is dim”. These famous international film festivals always have their difficulties in choosing films. They are eager to pick out the best films among some unknown people as much as possible, but under the spotlight of world attention, they have to choose some internationally famous directors and films.
People always complain that new directors and new excellent works are difficult to be noticed at film festivals, but if the film festivals lose those famous directors, stars and their works, the existence of these film festivals will be weakened. This is a sharp-pointed contradiction that exists in reality. Whether it is to support new people or to raise attention rate is a difficult problem for international film festivals around the world. “In Cannes, what matter is not the red carpet, not the star, but the film,” repeatedly stressed by Fumao, the Cannes’ art director. However, the film festivals and star effects are actually supporting each other. Without the festival, it would be difficult for these excellent films to get a display platform and improve the popularity of directors and actors. Without the stars, the festivals will lose people’s attention.
Those films that have received great attention and are seen by the widest audience often have behind them a director who has worked hard for many years, a producer or distributor who is very strong in the industry, a cooperative relationship that has lasted for many years, and a pair of “push hands” who understands the rules of the game in the industry. Under the combined effect of these factors, the European and American film festivals have largely become the “chosen” platform. However, such problems are not so incisive for some film festivals with relatively low popularity.
I think this is also a big problem in today’s well-known international film festivals that new directors are difficult to succeed, new excellent films are difficult to be excavated in such a film festival. I sincerely hope that in the future, the existence of the film festival can become more pure, and should be held for the excellent films, rather than for attracting attention. But I think it will be an extremely difficult road, and maybe in the future, we can sum up a correct road from the experience we have learned.