Comparison of Shanghai International Film Festival and Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

I studied at the SHIXIN university in Taiwan in 2014 as an exchange student, during which I was privileged to participate in the 51st annual Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. I also participated in the Shanghai International Film Festival as a volunteer in 2016, so I have a unique appreciation of both the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival. This article attempts to offer some directions for the development of Shanghai International Film Festival based on the comparison of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival.

  1. The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival’s style is distinctive, while the SIFF’s style is still yet to be established.

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival as of now has its distinctive style–the film festival’s internationalized selection, the minority selection award. Because of its special judging system, the Golden Horse Award has insisted on a route to the European Art Film Festival and encourages art films. The SIFF was only established a short time ago, but it is the only international film Festival in China. The International Class A regulations stipulate the kinds of films that can be registered in a Class A film festival, so the SIFF is limited in its selection of films. Besides, SIFF is international film festival, so there is a lack of geographical characteristics.

timg2. In management and execution, unlike the Shanghai International Film Festival, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival is not subject to government restrictions.

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival is organised by civil society, so the impact of politics on it is very small. It is a purely filmmaker’s event. The Shanghai International Film Festival is sponsored by the National Press and Publication Bureau and the Shanghai Municipal government. The strong administrative colour offers the film festival some advantages, for example, the use of public resources and preferential conditions, but it also gives the government veto power. Also, the theme of the film festival is restricted in scope.

3. The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival focuses on filmmaker experience, while the SIFF focuses on film Trading market.

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In comparison to other International class A film festival, such as the SIFF, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival has been perfected the experience it offers filmmakers. However, the Golden Horse does not focus on the trading market, and it does not offer a specialized film trading market. By contrast the SIFF’s movie trading market is quite prosperous compared to other international film festivals, presumably because of the rapid development of the Chinese film market, and its great popularity globally. Additionally, the Golden Horse film festival pays more attention to a humanistic experience. It has a “Golden Horse Film Academy” unit, which is aimed at developing new talents in film production, encouraging discussion and exchanges in the film industry as well as promoting the development of the film industry.

If a film festival wants to grow, it should not merely focus on the film market, but should promote the development of the film industry and serve the needs of the filmmakers well.  For specific cultural function positioning, we can draw on some other examples of film festivals. The Cannes Film Festival attaches importance to the culture-oriented function of film selection, broadcasting and other element (Han, 2009). The Academy Awards model focuses on business functions, it is positioned in the world’s most developed film and television industry center Hollywood, which dominates the world’s largest film and television market, the United States (Han, 2009). The Shanghai International Film Festival can learn from the experience of foreign countries and correct any current or potential deviation of its function positioning.

 

Reference:

Han, H (2009). International Film festivals: Business and art indispensable, Social observation, vol.8,no.6,pp. 72-73

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