SIFF: a business card exchange film festival

In China, almost famous film festival such as Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) and Qingdao International Film Festival(QIFF) all can be conducted as “the business exchange card film festival “. As Dina (2017)’s view, this type of festival is “about the straight market talk”, more ” being in love with power, prestige and glamour”. On the other word, the festival is driven by the “ west who salivate over the huge Chinese market”.


SIFF is an excellent example to introduce this typical festival. Instead of the movie, it is more about the business connection with the globe. Actually, the original purpose of SIFF was to promote Shanghai as a “world city” image, which contributes to maintaining the public relation with western. It is not hard to understand, SIFF owned its “add value”: it is a place to exchange the business card, socialization and build the global connection between China and Western. “it is where Westerners can put their newly printed two-sided English–Chinese business card into the hands of business-suited Chinese officials (Dina, 2017).”


As “the business card exchange festival”, the stakeholders, industry player and distributor play the important role in the event. To be specific, SIFF is a state-owned enterprises project which owned by the Shanghai Film Group. With the development, it expands to the Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group. Except for the well-known directors and stars, the film investors are the vital guests at the festival. They are almost famous Chinese entrepreneurs  and “usually members of the new class of moneyed film industry executives, some rich enough to make it onto the Forbes list or the gossip pages of the Cannes chronicles (Dina, 2017).”


In addition, SIFF can be seen as a “reputation festival” cause it requires the high-profile media coverage. The event always cooperates with “the heavy artillery mainstream news media”. Thus, the glamor and celebrity are the important element to demonstrate in the festival – more attendance of international movie stars which indicates more gaining of global attraction.  Especially, it can reflect on the red carpet event- the opening and closing of the film festival is the most important promoting chance. They are significant live shoots are reported by every mainstream media competitively. As an international film festival, SIFF always invites the global well-known movie stars to join the event.

“In 2013, the same year that Tom Hooper headed the jury, Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren graced the red carpet, amongst others. The next year, Natalie Portman appeared at the closing ceremony, and Nicole Kidman was in town with her film, Grace of Monaco (Berry, 2017).”

Through the observation of SIFF, I know the reason why the business card exchange film festival is popular in China. There is no denying that SIFF not only a platform to export Chinese movie to the globe but also a tool to establish the economic connection to the world.




Dina, I (2017), Yingying, Zhenzhen, and Fenfen? China at the Festivals

Berry, C (2017), Shanghai and Hong Kong: A Tale of Two Festivals


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