FIRST Film Festival Announces 2019 Initial Lineup

This year’s FIRST International Film Festival is to feature Zhao Fei, Chang Chia-Lu and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, according to the festival announced at a news conference on May 4th.

Entitled “The Night Is Young” and held in front of the committee office for the first time, the press conference is opened with FIRST’s 2019 annual promotion video that highlights the graphic relevancy of classic and current films using split screen, indicating the film festival’s investigation into “relationship” and “dialogue”.

“In the realm of human relationship, film festivals belong to those most intense and most fascinating. It is where relationship is built and mechanism is provided,” says Li Ziwei, the CEO of FIRST Film Festival.

This year’s competition section carries on featuring jury members from various professional and cultural background. The initial lineup includes Zhao Fei, a world-renowned cinematographer, Shu Ping, a novel and screenplay writer, Qin Hao, a Cannes best actor nominee, and Anthony Chen, a Singaporean writer and director.

Parallel to the competition is FIRST Mart, a newly-established market section comprising financing forum, industry screening, symposium, and workshop. It aims to further facilitate communication among film festival, film industry, and auteurs.

It is also announced that screenwriter and executive producer Chang Chia-Lu, Hong Kong actor and director Tsang Kwok-Cheung, and Chinese actress Song Jia will serve as this year’s financing juries.

Apart from the competition and FIRST Mart, FIRST Film Festival also operates training camp in the hope of cultivating talented filmmakers. FIRST 2019 continues to appoint Béla Tarr as dean, while Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf will be this year’s tutor. Meanwhile, Tibetan film director Pema Tseden and Chinese actor Zhang Songwen will serve on the advisory committee. 

The 13th edition of the event will open on July 20th and run through July 28th. Applications for training camp, volunteer, industry screening and public programming are still open.