Advantages and Disadvantages of Shanghai International Film Festival

The Shanghai International Film Festival is the first international film festival in mainland China. It is held in Shanghai, China every June. It was first held in 1993. In 1994, it was recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as an international Class A film festival. So far, the Shanghai International Film Festival has been held for 25 times. Through more than 20 years of growth, the Shanghai International Film Festival has become more distinctive and more influential. However, the development of the Chinese Film Festival is more than half a century later than Europe. It must be said that there are still many immature and unprofessional.

With the gradual maturity of the Shanghai International Film Festival, it provides a good platform for domestic and international film professionals to communicate. Excellent films from different countries will be shown at the festival, giving the public a chance to watch them. The eight-and-a-half-hour documentary “Shoah” was shown at the Shanghai International Film Festival. Without the film festival, the audience could not watch such a long documentary in an ordinary movie theater. At the same time, the Shanghai International Film Festival has let more filmmakers around the world understand Chinese movies and understand Chinese culture through movies. The Shanghai International Film Festival is also contributing to support of outstanding filmmakers. The judges at the festival are famous directors and screenwriters in the world, and then through the selection of the audience, these outstanding films and filmmakers have provided fresh blood to the Chinese film industry.

On the other hand, we can’t deny that there are many areas that need improvement in the Shanghai International Film Festival. For example, due to the Chinese government’s control over movies, many movies of the theme cannot be released in China, even at the festival. It will still be limited because of the subject matter of the film. Secondly, the history of the development of the China Film Festival is far less than that of Europe. This has led to too few staff members and insufficient experience, which has brought great difficulties in selecting film and organization work. Because of the shortage of staff, the film festival had to invite a large number of volunteers to assist the work. However, since most of the volunteers are inexperienced college students, and the training time is short, it is difficult for volunteers to translate the film professionally. Movie translation cannot meet the requirements, so that the appreciation of the film will be greatly affected.

The fundamental purpose of the festival is to promote the exchange and cooperation of the film market by displaying different types of films. Through the platform of the film market exhibition, the participating entities in the industry chain can not only obtain more information on film project, industry development and display and exchange opportunities. As a developing film festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival does have many problems that need to be improvement. However, with the efforts of accumulating accumulated experience, the Shanghai International Film Festival can become a representative film festival in Asia.

The advantage of “active choice” of international famous film festivals is decreasing.

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.

Understanding of the film festival during the learning process

I was impressed by the last MIFF film festival, but I also realized that there are still many loopholes in my knowledge of the film festival. In order to better complete the film festival held by the group, I am constantly learning related knowledge. Through study, I am more and more fond of the film festival, and I am looking forward to the film festival held by us. I read the relevant literature of the film festival and I was more certain of the idea when I was in MIFF. First of all, the film that was shown at the festival was to showcase some non-mainstream excellent films, which can be seen by more people on this platform. Secondly, the movies played at the festival are not all English movies, and the types of films are also very diverse. Such films may only be released in a certain country or region. Playing such movies at a film festival can promote movies well. Cultural exchanges also give people the opportunity to experience the culture of other countries through these films. Finally, the festival is held all over the world and is held every year or every two years. It is a periodic ceremony with a fixed time. It is like a holiday. Therefore, the excellent movies of various countries have the chance to be released in other countries.

At the same time, I also learned about the history of the film festival. The first film festival was the Venice International Film Festival held in Venice, Italy in 1932. After the Second World War, the international film festival was gradually increasing from Europe to other continents. There are almost 700 different types of film festivals so far, and different film festivals are subdivided into four different types of ABCD. The types of movies shown in different types are also different. For example, Type A is competitive feature film festivals. These festivals have awards and no specific themes. Type B is competitive specialised feature film festivals, and movies that are usually played in such festivals have specific themes. Type C is non-competitive feature film festivals. There is no competition unit for this type of film festival. It is mainly used for the screening and trading of feature films. The last category D is the documentary and short film festivals, which focuses on documentaries, short films, and cartoons. It can be seen that each film festival is very professional, and the entries that can be shown at the festival are also high-quality movie works.

Learning film festivals is not only theoretical knowledge for me, but also, I have the opportunity to get in touch with many excellent films. This experience gives me a new understanding of movies and a new definition of excellent movies. I am looking forward to the next course and the preparation of the film festival.


de, VM, Kredell, B, & Loist, S (eds) 2016, Film Festivals : History, Theory, Method, Practice, Routledge, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [25 August 2018].

MIFF:My first film festival experience

In the past, the film festival for me was an event that many of film stars watch movies and give award. I never really understood what it is until last weekend (11, August 2018).

That was my first time to attend a film festival, this film festival is MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival). To be honest, how exciting it is for me to participate in the festival. I often see various film festivals on TV, such as Cannes International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival and Shanghai International Film Festival. On TV, I can always see famous movie stars wearing beautiful clothes to attend the film festival, which is why I am particularly looking forward to this MIFF.

My friend and I came to the venue of the film festival early in the morning. However, what puzzles me is that there are no red carpets at the door, and there are no reporters waiting outside, let alone the film stars. We walked inside, just saw a sign and told us that it was indeed MIFF. There are no other people except the several staff who checks the ticket at the scene, and the staff who are guided to sit in each theater. It just like ordinary movie watching, and it’s too different from what I imagined.


The movie we watched is a 2D hand-drawn animated film from Taiwan called <On Happiness Road>. The film recalls Taiwan’s historical memory through the sadness and happiness of a Taiwanese girl growing up. When I watch a movie, I often hear laughter or sobs from the theater. I guess I was the one of those people who made these sounds. Since I am Chinese, some of the historical plots in the film have also been studied by me, and some of the protagonists’ growth experiences are also I can feel the same. This is why I have a lot of feelings when I watch this movie.


When I finished watching the movie, I suddenly had a new definition of the film festival. We can’t deny that the festival is a commercial marketing tool, but it does give a lot of potential movies a chance to exposure, so that more people can watch them, at the same time, both film festivals and film producers can get benefits. Nowadays, Today, most of the movies that can be shown in the world’s theaters are films that have invited famous movie stars to invest huge sums of money. These movies are also the most attractive to the audience. MIFF shares outstanding film productions from around the world, some of which may be low-cost productions, some of which are not visible in local cinemas. Through such a platform, everyone has the opportunity to appreciate the outstanding movies from all over the world. I think this is one of the reasons why MIFF is so popular. The experience of this film festival not only brought me a new experience, but also made me appreciate a good movie, which is an unforgettable memory for me.