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IFFAM: Macao Festival Opens Door for Cultural Exchange

Variety logo Variety 12/8/2016 Sonia Kil
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Actresses Zhang Ziyi and Kara Wai, “Power Ranger,” Ludi Lin, and ace Korean director Kim Jee-woon (“The Age of Shadows”) were on hand to open the first edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao.

Held at the Macau Cultural Center, Thursday evening, the opening ceremony also saw a rare reunion of Hong Kong film industry heavyweights, including China Star Entertainment Group’s Charles Heung, wife Tiffany Chan, and Albert Yeung of Emperor Entertainment. They were greeted by the festival’s organizing committee executive vice president Alvin Chau, casino tycoon and owner of Sun Entertainment Culture Limited.

“(This festival) is like a baby, but this baby speaks many languages already—Chinese, Korean Indian, Russian, English… I’m very happy and excited to be part of this baby’s life, and I wish a long and happy one,” said Zhang.

“Macao is a place where cultures from the East and West are orchestrated into a beautiful symphony. […] The synergy between culture and tourism enriches visitors’ experience in Macao, and steers the tourism industry and the cultural and creative industry towards sustainable development, ultimately supporting Macao’s quest to become a world center of tourism and leisure,” said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, president of the festival organizing committee.

VIP guests and the members of the competition jury were then invited to share the stage with lion dancers. They took part in the eye-dotting ceremony which, according to Chinese tradition, stands for good luck, health, blessings and prosperity.

Zhang, designated as the festival’s image ambassador, talent ambassador Jang Keun-suk and IFFAM ambassadors Choi Dong-hoon and Clemens Klopfenstein received ambassador certificates. Kim presents “Diabolique” in the festival’s Crossfire section.

Other guests included Korean actor-director Jang Keun-suk (“You’re My Pet”) and Jessica Jung, former member of top K-pop girl band Girls Generation. “I have a movie coming out next year. It’s called ‘My Other Home,’ a Chinese- movie that I star in with (basketball icon) Stephon Marbury. I hope maybe next year, my movie can also participate (in the IFFAM),” said Jung from the red carpet.

Tracy Choi, director of competition film “Sisterhood” from Macau, said she was proud to present her feature at home.

The 30-min opening ceremony was followed by the screening of the opening film, “Polina.”

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