The rise of the new emerging film festival in China

As we know, the Academy Awards are the most influential and time-honored film awards in the world. Together with the three major international film festivals in Europe, including the Cannes film festival in France, the Venice film festival in Italy and the Berlin film festival in Germany, four of them are the most important film awards in the world film industry. However, with the development of the film industry and the soaring production of films, several famous film festivals have been difficult to meet the requirements, which has led to the emergence of various emerging film festivals.


These new emerging film festival are aimed at the particular range of special film festival and the activities of the movie, I will take some examples of Chinese film festivals, such as Beijing International Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival, Silk Road Film Festival, Golden Rooster and Flowers The awards, the FIRST Youth Film Festival, and various events organized by online media, etc. These festivals and events in China provide a platform for many films to promote. Like the famous film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Tokyo, and Venice, the Shanghai Film Festival belongs to the International Class A Film Festival and has a competition unit. The top award is the “Jin Jue Award” and the Asian New Talent Prize are set outside the main competition unit to discover movie newcomers from all over Asia. Some emerging film festivals in China have different preferences. For example, The Silk Road Film Festival places more emphasis on the cultural exchange than film promotion. The China-Australia Film Festival focuses on recommending outstanding films abroad. The Beijing international film festival is likely to focus more on the commercial market. Pingyao International Film Festival pays more attention to discovering movie newcomers.

Most of these film festivals and events are still in the growth stage, therefore, it is necessary to improve the level of activities with high-quality, high-quality films. However, it is precisely because these film festivals and activities have just begun to develop, the professionalism has not yet been recognized. Hence, many high-quality, high-quality movies are not willing to participate, because they do not need the awards of these non-mainstream festivals to prove themselves.


A key criterion for the quality of a film festival is whether it is objective and fair, and it is not affected by or influenced by factors outside the film. The more objective and fair, the more excellent works can be attracted. Additionally, the participation of good works can further enhance the popularity and gold content of the film festival. Of course, it is impossible for a film festival to be free of factors other than film. Therefore, this is the difference between traditional well-known film festivals and new emerging film festivals. Because the famous film festival has accumulated many years of experience and has wide recognition, they don’t have to worry about the shortage of audiences or have not good works. Therefore, such a film festival is relatively less constrained by external factors. However, the new emerging film festival can’t rely on itself to attract high-quality masterpieces to participate actively. They need the influence of movies and actors to enhance the popularity of the festival. Once it affected by external factors, it is difficult to guarantee the objective and fairness of the film awards. If the awards are not objective and fair, and they are not recognized by the masses, it will be difficult to get professional recognition.



①Rüling, Charles-Clemens, and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen. “Film festival research from an organizational studies perspective.” Scandinavian Journal of Management 26.3 (2010): 318-323.

②Chan, Felicia. “The international film festival and the making of a national cinema.” Screen 52.2 (2011): 253-260.

③Xiao, Zhiwei. Encyclopedia of Chinese film. Routledge, 2002.

④Ran, Ma. “Celebrating the international, disremembering Shanghai: The curious case of the Shanghai International Film Festival.” Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research 4.1 (2011): 147-168.

The “Red Carpet” is an important element of the film festival

The film festival is an important part of the cultural industry while the red carpet ceremony is the most representative element in the film festival. The red carpet ceremony is a special symbol of the film festival which displays far more than just celebrities and gossip. It is also a miniature form that shows various elements and groups involved in the film festival and the film industry, including the celebrity, the producer, the director, the media, etc. The social relationship between them and the power operation behind it involves many aspects of culture, business, and politics.

With the increasing importance of film festivals in the cultural industry, relevant research on film festivals has received more attention. Especially since the 21st century, the European academic circles have taken the film festival away from the traditional film history research, as a new historical research object, and examined it in a systematic and networked social context. As a ritual created by the film festival, the red carpet and the mass media are mutually constructed. Due to the semi-openness and geographical limitations of the red carpet ceremony of the important international film festival, the main channel for the red carpet information to reach the public’s sight is the spread of the media, especially the spread of television and the Internet, which shape the content of the red carpet ceremony. In other words, the red carpet ceremony not only creates cultural value for the film festival in the film art but also produces entertainment value, news value, economic value, and professional value in the process of media communication.

The process of the red carpet ceremony varies from region to region. Like the Shanghai International Film Festival or the Beijing Film Festival in China, the red carpet event agenda is jointly set by TV media and film organizations. The red carpet will have an on-site host to conduct an official live broadcast, on-site introduction, interviews, and control of the progress of the event. By contrast, the red carpet ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival do not set up such a unified control host. A media reporter can conduct interviews according to different topics. Such reports are relatively more diversity.


In addition, the film festival red carpet has become increasingly commercial, with many sponsors using celebrities to take the red carpet to draw attention. As a result, the film festival red carpet shows and produces a series of goods, including luxury clothing and jewelry, celebrity status media coverage, and audience attention. The film festival red carpet became a commercial chain, and the media’s communication process and technology expanded the scope of commercialization. For example, at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010, Chinese actor Fan Bingbing wore the “Dragon Robe”, which represents the ancient Chinese royal culture. The designer put the elements of culture into the dress, which not only won a lot of attention but also promoted the Chinese culture.

Therefore, I think “red carpet” is not only a ceremony of the film festival but also it gradually becomes a spreading commercialization process. Celebrities, film producers, brand sponsors, film festival platforms and media can all benefit from it.



①De Valck, Marijke. Film festivals: From European geopolitics to global cinephilia, Amsterdam University Press, 2007; Thomas Elsaesser, “ Film Festival Networks: The New Topographies of cinema in Europe,” in Europe Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2005 pp. 82-107.

②Wong, Cindy Hing-Yuk. Film festivals: Culture, people, and power on the global screen. Rutgers University Press, 2011.

The influence of film festivals

Nowadays, there are a great number of influential international film festivals worldwide, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival and etc. The holding of the International Film Festival not only brings together outstanding filmmakers from different countries, but also allows various cultural forms to meet, collide and fuse in various forms. In addition, the film festival can showcase the most exciting works of contemporary filmmakers. Movie viewers can also see various types of movies at the festival.

The film festival has had a certain impact on the film industry. Firstly, it impacts on the local film industry. Film festivals were born primarily to promote and stimulate the local film industry in each host country. The recognition of local films and the attention and communication opportunities brought by the festival are the driving forces for the development of the local film industry. Secondly, hold the film festival to promote world film culture exchange and trade. The emergence of more and more international film festivals indicates that the film industry has an increasing demand for exchanges between countries on a global scale. During the Film Festival exhibition, you can see international movies that you can’t see at home. Through this kind of cultural exchange and communication, the understanding of the development status of the film industry in different countries can be deepened. In addition to the exchange of information, the festival also has a real trading market, which provides a very good platform for filmmakers, where they can get to know more people in the industry and find opportunities for overseas distribution for their work.


(picture from

At this Melbourne Film Festival, I not only saw excellent films from all over the world, but also saw many Australian local films. For example, UNDERMINED: TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEY, which is a documentary about the story of Kimberley, the northwest corner of Australia. The documentary tells that Kimberley’s mineral resources development has destroyed the natural environment, and local indigenous people want to protect the local culture. At the beginning of the documentary, the director used a few beautiful natural landscapes in Kimberley to attract everyone’s attention. At that time, as an audience, I had a yearning for such a beautiful place. This paved the way for the government to develop the land, which led to the destruction of the environment. This film is one of the works of the Melbourne International Film Festival. I think it makes good use of this platform, expresses the creative concept of the director, and also promotes the local culture. Because Melbourne is a multi-ethnic and multicultural city, I think the city is very inclusive. The Melbourne International Film Festival is held in such a multicultural city, and it is more able to pull in the exchanges and cooperation between different cultures.

All in all, I think that holding a film festival not only has a huge impact on the film industry, but it also enhances cultural exchanges and promotes social development.


Shiel, Mark, and Tony Fitzmaurice, eds. Cinema and the city: film and urban societies in a global context. Vol. 48. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

Gray, Tim, Chang, Justin.”Fest test: a tale of two cities: Toronto and Venice offer a how-to course in planning.(GLOBAL)(Toronto International Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival)” Film Festivals – Rites, Ceremonies, and Celebrations; FilmFestivals – Forecasts and Trends   Variety, July 22, 2013, Vol.320(16), p.70(2)



My first trip on MIFF

On Wednesday, August 9, my classmates and I went to visit the Melbourne International Film Festival. This is my first time to attend an international film festival. The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has a long history in Australia. As one of the oldest film festivals in the world, it is Australia’s iconic film festival, and MIFF has a major influence in the southern hemisphere. In my previous impressions, the International Film Festival should be like the opening or closing ceremonies of the Oscar and Cannes Film Festivals, red carpets, celebrities, entertainment journalists, photographers, etc. However, this time I participated in the Melbourne International Film Festival, let me know that the film festival is more about cultural exchange than celebrity gossip.


This year’s Melbourne International Film Festival had been held from August 2nd to August 19th. Every year, the Melbourne Film Festival screens a wide range of films from a wide range of subjects and recognizes filmmakers who have made artistic contributions to the film industry around the world. The festival lasts for two weeks and will feature about 300 rich and varied films to showcase the latest trends in the Australian and international film industry. In this Melbourne International Film Festival, there are many interesting and excellent films. Some of the more representative types include documentaries, Australian local films, Cannes-winning films, Asian film refugee-themed movies, VR short films and more. These films come from all over the world and are novel and controversial.

In this time, the movie I went to watch in the Melbourne Film Festival was Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley. This is a documentary about the contradiction of economic development and environmental protection of Kimberley in the northwest corner of Australia. In this documentary, the director investigates the real development costs of the world-famous Kimberley, where the development of large-scale mining and pastoral areas not only threatens the original environment, but also threatens the sacred connection between more than 200 indigenous communities and their people and the state. After the end of the movie, there is a part named MIFF Talks. The director, producer and the actor come to the stage to accept the audience’s questions and answers to tell their movie experience in this part. I think this is a really interesting part, because through the interaction and discussion on the spot, the audience can get a deeper understanding of the story behind the movie.

This time I joined MIFF and gave me a new understanding of the film festival. The red carpet and awards evening is just a part of the film festival. I think the most important significance of the film festival is that it provides a platform for communication. This platform is open, hoping to showcase the style of film production in different regions, research industry topics, etc., in order to promote the industry to make a summary and progress in a positive direction. At this Melbourne International Film Festival, I can see Australian local movies, Chinese movies, which is probably the result of cultural exchanges in the context of globalization.