Highlights of the 12th Beijing International Film Festival

Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center. (Photo: CFP)

The 12th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) ended its eight-day run at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center on Saturday. Recipients of the event's prestigious Tiantan Award were also revealed at the closing ceremony.

The number of films registered for the Tiantan Award worldwide this year was 1,450, an increase of 63 percent compared with 2021. Among them were 1,193 foreign films from 88 countries and regions.

Here are some highlights of the 12th BJIFF.

Red carpet and opening ceremony

The 12th BJIFF kicked off in the Chinese capital under the theme "United We Advance" on August 13.

Cast and crew members of "In Search of Lost Time," the opening film of this year's BJIFF, gather on the red carpet at the opening ceremony. (Photo: CFP)

Nearly 200 filmmakers and guests appeared on the star-studded red carpet ahead of the opening ceremony by Yanqi Lake.

Wu Jing, a famous director and actor and a jury member of the Tiantan Award at the 12th BJIFF. (Photo: BJIFF)

The theme of the red carpet centered around the application of Beijing's Central Axis to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

At the opening ceremony, Shen Haixiong, president of China Media Group (CMG) and chairman of the 12th BJIFF Organizing Committee, declared the opening of the 12th BJIFF.

Shen Haixiong, president of CMG and chairman of the 12th BJIFF Organizing Committee, delivers a speech and announces the opening of the festival. (Photo: CMG)

Jury members Frant Gwo, Malcolm Clarke, Qin Hailu, and Wu Jing attended the opening ceremony, while Argentine director Lucrecia Martel and Italian director Michelangelo Frammartino sent a video the event outlining their expectations for filmmakers in shaping the industry.

Young Filmmakers Forum

The Young Filmmakers Forum, themed "Youthful Expression and the Spirit of the Times," focused on new faces of the youth, new trends in the industry and new thinking of the times. The forum invited representative young film directors, screenwriters, producers and scholars to discuss their experiences with hot topics in the Chinese film industry.

Film Power Forum

The first session of the Film Power Forum – "A New Journey Ahead: Unremitting Pursuit of Dreams on a Journey toward a Brilliant Film Future" – was held at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center on August 14. The heads of major Chinese film companies, well-known filmmakers, experts and scholars were invited. The forum summarized the achievements of the "extraordinary decade" and encouraged filmmakers to stick to their original aspirations and forge ahead with courage.

Guests at the Film Power Forum, themed "A New Journey Ahead: Unremitting Pursuit of Dreams on a Journey toward a Brilliant Film Future." (Photo: BJIFF)

The second session of the Film Power Forum, themed "Exploration, Pursuit and Creation of Superior Films," focused on how the creation of "superior" productions in the Chinese film and TV industries can shape "the most beautiful China."

Top film experts and artists discussed hot topics such as "superior" film creation, China's influence going global and the rating of Chinese "superior" films in the hope that pathways, wisdom and power may be provided for the multidimensional development of literature and art in the new era.

The BJIFF invited industry veterans such as Huang Jianxin, Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Dasheng, Liu Haoran, Shu Huan and Lan Xiaolong to participate in the forum. They shared their experiences and expressed their optimism for the development of Chinese TV and film. Regarding the creation of "superior works" in the domestic film landscape, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi said they cannot be made with the energy of one person, but are shaped by a collective. Actor Liu Haoran defined "superior works" as those that can stand the test of time.

Beijing International Sports Film Week

Beijing International Sports Film Week debuted at this year's BJIFF. A forum on August 15 invited documentarians, directors of sports foundations, national team athletes and other guests from various fields to discuss the rising popularity of sports documentaries.

Beijing International Sports Film Week at BJIFF. (Photo: BJIFF)

Guest of the forum watched five sports-themed films.

In the post-screening dialogue session, the guests shared their most touching stories from the shooting of sports-themed documentaries, and conducted in-depth discussions.

Jury president Li Xuejian's masterclass

Chinese actor Li Xuejian was awarded the title and medal of Reform Pioneer by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and the honor of People's Artist with Professional Excellence and Moral Integrity to promote the core values of socialism.

Li Xuejian talks to the audience. (Photo: BJIFF)

At the masterclass, Li discussed the times and the spirit of Chinese films. He also invited the cast and crew of "Roaring Across the Horizon" to review the past, look into the future, and share creative film ideas.

Closing ceremony and Tiantan Award

The international jury team of the Tiantan Award at the BJIFF on Saturday. (Photo: BJIFF)

The 12th BJIFF ended on a high note in Huairou. "The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic" pocketed Best Feature Film, while "The Family" won the award for Best Director. Eight more prizes were awarded.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou (right) and actor Li Xuejian give the award for Best Feature Film. (Photo: BJIFF)

A number of Chinese and foreign filmmakers sat on the jury. Veteran Chinese actor Li Xuejian served as president. The other members included: Chinese director Guo Fan, British director Malcolm Clarke, Argentine director Lucrecia Martel, Italian director Michelangelo Frammartino, Chinese actress Qin Hailu, and Chinese director and actor Wu Jing.