The filmmakers and their stories: the China Film Forum

This year the dialogue between Italy and China is without a doubt a true standout at the Venice Film Festival. For the third year in a row, the China Film Forum, which will be held at the Villa degli Autori on September 2, after the "matchmaking" cocktails the night before to launch the event, is the centerpiece of Venice Days' international agenda.

Jointly promoted by Venice Days, the Sino-European co-production network Bridging the Dragon, and the Italian documentary filmmakers' association Doc/it, the 2016 China Film Forum focuses on filmmakers and the stories they bring to the screen; the different writing styles in the two film cultures (in the plenary session); and the best practices for co-productions between Europe and China, at the workshop organized by Bridging the Dragon and Doc/it (afternoon session).

The morning session will get underway with welcoming remarks by the presidents of the two Italian filmmakers' associations (Francesco Bruni for 100autori and Francesco Martinotti for ANAC); filmmaker Maurizio Sciarra will be moderating. Guest speakers include two of China's top screenwriters, Shu Huan (the writer of the hit Lost in Thailand) and Yuan Yuan (writer of the Oscar-nominee Go Away Mr. Tumor), as well as Paolo Genovese, whose film Perfect Strangers grabbed international acclaim after being a box office hit in Italy.

Following the talk, three success stories to come out of the artistic collaboration between Italy and China will be presented to Venice Days audiences: Sergio Basso's documentary The Long March, made with the support of the Beijing TV Station; Coffee by Cristiano Bortone (the first official Sino-Italian co-production to be released in Italy and China); and He Hui: The Soprano of the Silk Road (co-produced by Agnese Fontana and Duan Peng).

The afternoon workshop revolves around the various aspects of potential collaborations with China's film and audiovisual industry: trends and prospects for the film market (with Ben Ji, CEO of the production and marketing company Reach Glory); "Who's Who" in China (with Wu Sisi, head of production for the production and investment company Jetavana); a run-down of censorship and its rules (with Charles Lei from Thunder Media); and the documentary scene today (with Ning Yuqi from GZDoc; Yu Zhou, vice-director of the Sino-Italian campus of Tongji University; and other European and Chinese speakers).

At the end of the workshop, some of the participants from Bridging the Dragon will be guest speakers at the Focus Session on China arranged by ANICA for the Ministry of Culture (MiBACT), which will provide a wrap-up of the workshop and the issues discussed.

In addition, at the 2016 China Film Forum (jointly organized by Venice Days, Dream Circle and In Thinker Studio, along with supporting partners Beijing TV Studio and Hua Huang), major new collaborations will be announced: the joint project by Venice Days and the Shanghai Film Art Academy to promote emerging talent at the Venice Film Festival each year; the creation of a Chinese investment fund to support ties between China and the Italian and European film industries; and the launching of an artistic dialogue between Venice Days and the Silk Road Festival.


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