MACAO, 2016-May-31 — /Travel PR News/ — The 1st International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (IFFAM) will be held in December. The organizers held a press conference today (27 May) to introduce the IFFAM Organizing Committee and the International Professional Team as well as the current preparation work. Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Alexis Tam attended the press conference and witnessed the signing of a cooperative agreement between Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA).
Witnessed by Secretary Tam, MGTO and MFTPA signed the cooperative agreement during the press conference, confirming their joint initiative to organize IFFAM. Cultural Affairs Bureau and Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau are co-organizers of the event. The Organizing Committee also gave out certificates of acknowledgement to the sponsors and entities concerned.
The inaugural edition of IFFAM is scheduled to take place at Macao Cultural Centre and Macao Science Center from 8 to 13 December. The organizers have formed an IFFAM Organizing Committee and an International Professional Team to carry out the preparation work. Close to 100 local and international members of the press, international buyers, film directors, film stars, film producers, distributors, investors as well as key persons from major film festivals around the world will be invited to attend the 1st edition of IFFAM. The volume of participants is expected to reach 500.
During her speech, MGTO Director and President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, remarked that IFFAM will introduce world-class exchange opportunities and raise Macao’s international profile to a new level. Not only that, the event will unleash the synergistic effect between culture and tourism and enrich the cultural appeal of the destination, thus producing long-term benefit for the sustainable development of the tourism industry and the creative and cultural industry in Macao.
President of MFTPA and Executive Vice President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee, Alvin Chau, stated that the 1st IFFAM will mainly invite original film works that are relatively more popular in the market, with the aim to forge IFFAM into one of the major international events and marketplaces in the Asian film industry.
Festival Director of IFFAM, Marco Müller, expressed that owing to Macao’s economic, cultural, historical and geographic factors, IFFAM has the potential to become a major film-hub. Many key film-operators agreed that there is still space in East Asia for a new hub for exchanges in the film industry, and Macao certainly holds a potential and chance to occupy a key position in the global arena.
The IFFAM Organizing Committee comprises governmental representatives, film professionals and scholars, etc. MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes takes up the role of President, while President of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Ung Vai Meng, President of Management Committee of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, José Tavares, and President of MFTPA, Alvin Chau, are the Executive Vice Presidents of the IFFAM Organizing Committee. MGTO Deputy Directors Cecilia Tse and Cheng Wai Tong, Vice President of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chan Peng Fai, Member of the Committee of Cultural Industries, Melina Leong, Vice President of Macau University of Science and Technology, Tong Ka Lok, and Vice President of MFTPA, Chen Ji Min, act as vice presidents of the IFFAM Organizing Committee. Council Chairlady of MFTPA, Alice Azedo Augusto is the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee, whereas Executive Vice Council Chairlady of MFTPA, Lei Sou Ian, is the Deputy Secretary General. Internationally-renowned film producer Marco Müller is the Festival Director, whereas famous producer in Asian film industry, Lorna Tee, acts as the Head of Festival Management.
International Professional Team
The International Professional Team for IFFAM includes Festival Director, Head of Festival Management, Ambassadors, International Advisory Board as well as International Consultants. The members include Festival Director Marco Müller and Head of Festival Management Lorna Tee, while celebrated Hong Kong directors Johnnie To and Ann Hui, Korean director Choi Dong-hoon, as well as famous director and cinematographer from Europe, Clemens Klopfenstein, act as the Ambassadors. The four Ambassadors all boast a background or profile related to Macao. Three of them have shot film scenes in Macao before, while Director Ann Hui once studied in Macao.
The International Advisory Board consists of 7 film experts from the East and the West, including Chinese film director and producer Huang Jianxin, veteran American film producer based in Asia-Pacific, Michael J. Werner, Korean producer Oh Jung-wan, veteran producer and distribution expert from Hong Kong, Nansun Shi, famous American screenwriter James Schamus, French art director for film festivals, Olivier Père, and famous Portuguese producer Luís Urbano.
In charge of film selection, the Team of International Consultants includes Alëna Shumakova for Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Deepti Dcunha for India, Diego Lerer for Latin America, Marie-Pierre Duhamel for Western Europe, Sandra Hebron for the United States and the United Kingdom, Shan Dongbing for China and Tomita Mikiko for Japan.
The Team of Honorary Advisors includes President of Galaxy Entertainment Group, Michael Mecca, President of Sands China Limited, Wilfred Wong, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Wynn Macau Limited, Linda Chen, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Ltd., Grant Bowie, famous Hong Kong film star Eric Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Entertainment Culture Ltd., Alex Dong, acclaimed Hong Kong celebrity agent Paco Wong and President of China Great Wall Art & Culture Center, Junguo Shi.
The Media Partners for the 1st IFFAM are Teledifusão de Macau, S.A. (TDM) and FOX Networks Group. The officialInternet Marketing and Media Partner for the event is MOME Ltd.
In addition, the three-time Oscar winner of Best Achievement in Art Direction, Dante Ferretti, has been invited to design the trophy for the IFFAM awards.
Diverse and fascinating program highlights
The program of IFFAM features various highlights including Competition, Gala, “Hidden Dragons” Genre Cinema Panorama, Best of Fest Panorama and a retrospective called “Crossfire”. The Film Market/Industry Office and Masterclasses will also be held during the event.
Competition – the competition will present 12 feature films. A jury composed of five film-personalities will appraise and award the best film works; Gala – 5 of the most important new movies of the year will be presented out of competition, in a series of red-carpet presentations; “Hidden Dragons” – 6 films representing the latest current and style of contemporary Asian genre cinema will be presented; Best of Fest Panorama – screening 8 award-winning feature films from major international film festivals in 2016; “Crossfire” – featuring 12 genre films from South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and so on, selected by 12 East Asian genre film masters; Film Market/Industry Office – film industry entities will be invited to set up film market booths; Masterclasses – international film professionals will be invited to share their experience with local audience and members of the film industry.
Competitions and exchange project foster creativity
Other sidebars include: IFFAM – “Macao Audience Choice Award” Trophy Design Competition welcomes entries from Macao residents and designers, and will select the best design for the trophy of “Macao Audience Choice Award” in IFFAM. Chinese Language Short Content Competition – targeting young creators, the competition welcomes Chinese language short content works which feature elements of Macao. By inspiring young talents to develop their own film works, the competition aims to extend the impact of IFFAM across Chinese-speaking territories. Young Talents Project – International Short Screenplay Competition encourages young people to write screenplay and fosters their creativity; the competition also welcomes participants from Portuguese-speaking countries. After the first round of selection, assistance will be provided to translate Portuguese screenplay entries into English version. In the British Film Academy Project, professional lecturers from the British Film Institute will conduct a one-week training program on film production targeting local residents and students.
The organizers not only will carry out an array of promotional activities in Macao and overseas, but also will promote the event in various major film festivals including Shanghai International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival, as well as through the help of MGTO’s representatives overseas.
The film and television industry creates a strong momentum for local tourism development and effectively builds up a destination’s colorful image. Not only that, the industry also fosters tourism growths and raises the destination profile. Last year, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam proposed hosting an international film festival, hoping that the event can gather outstanding film works as well as prominent actors and film stars from around the world, thus bringing in world-class exchange opportunities and unleashing a synergistic effect through advancing local cultural and creative industry development and Macao’s destination glamour. Through the film festival, the SAR Government also aims to broaden the diversity of tourism and cultural products as well as signature events, enriching the cultural elements offered by the destination, in order to produce long-term benefit for the sustainable development of the tourism industry and the creative and cultural industry, which will promote Macao’s endeavor to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.