Insights from Beijing International Film Festival’s red carpet guests

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Stars, industry insiders and the broader global film fraternity gathered on the red carpet of the Beijing International Film Festival this year, sharing their experiences and insights during the opening ceremony of the annual event. They engaged in fervent discussions, probing the impact of films on societal progress, while also dissecting the evolving landscape of cinematic expression, particularly regarding realism and the rise of short-form content.

When asked about their presence at the festival, distinguished figures such as Cameron Bailey, chief executive officer of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Ilda Santiago, director of the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, expressed their admiration for the Chinese film industry and the vibrant cultural exchange facilitated by such events.

Reflecting on the pivotal role of films in fostering social progress, director Chen Zhuo emphasized their ability to touch hearts and shape societal values. This sentiment was echoed by esteemed actor Jiang Wu, who credited the industry’s growth to both a conducive environment and the passionate dedication of filmmakers.

The allure of realism in films was a central topic, with actress Xu Fan and actor Wang Jingchun advocating for its authenticity, which they believed resonated deeply with audiences. They contended that realistic portrayals capture the essence of everyday life, engendering a good connection between viewers and the producers.

Furthermore, the discussion veered towards the evolving landscape of cinematic storytelling, including the burgeoning prominence of short videos. Director Chen Yu hailed the diverse narrative formats, foreseeing their indispensable role in future storytelling endeavors. However, Derek Hui, another director, cautioned against imposing rigid distinctions between mediums, advocating instead for a focus on narrative quality irrespective of length.