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Top film award winners to be announced

Updated: 2023-09-20 10:23 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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The Golden Panda Awards will announce its winners in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, on Sept 20 night. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The inaugural Golden Panda Awards — a highly anticipated event attracting over 7,000 submissions from 104 countries and regions — will announce its winners in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, on Wednesday.

All the 25 awards are classified into four categories, namely, movie, TV series, animation, and documentary. A lot of celebrities, such as prestigious director Zhang Yimou, also the jury president for the Golden Panda Awards, have gathered in the city, known as the hometown of giant pandas.

British filmmaker Malcolm Clarke. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Malcolm Clarke, a two-time Oscar-winning British filmmaker who has served as the jury chairman for the documentary sector of the Golden Panda Awards, expressed his admiration for Chengdu, considering it one of his favorite cities in China.

He told China Daily that in a city as interesting and distinguished as Chengdu, which is already famous for its giant pandas and their role in the "panda diplomacy", the event is expected to attract filmmakers who will in turn promote and showcase Sichuan.

"It's a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and cultures. And hopefully, if (international) filmmakers get more interested in China, we can have more films made about China. And the more that happens, the fewer misunderstandings will exist between the West and China," explained Clarke, adding that he believes the event has an opportunity to gain popularity in the West.

Clarke, who has directed films in more than 80 countries, also suggested filmmakers to produce more social documentaries, especially those about Chinese people and the way they live, love, and dream.

"If more Chinese people's stories could be told and understood, the barriers will become a little less high and the fears that exist in the West can be dispelled. They will see China and the Chinese for who they are — enterprising, hardworking, friendly, and not belligerent in the way that they are being portrayed in the West," he said.

Besides, Clarke said the film industry has faced difficulties in recent years due to the pandemic, but he said he feels glad to witness China's return to normalcy and the revival of the country's movie industry, and he believes that this resurgence will once again bring joy to theatergoers and audiences.

Recent data from China Film Administration, the sector's top regulator, shows that the country grossed a record-shattering 20.6 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) from June to August, making it the highest-grossing summer season of all time.

Ren Zhonglun, a jury member for the Golden Panda Awards and vice-chairman of the China Film Association, said that the two unique highlights of Sichuan — the giant pandas and the 3,000-year-old Sanxingdui archaeological site — have the potential to bring global recognition to the province.

Ren also recounted his conversations with filmmakers and industry insiders from the United States and Japan, adding that he has discovered that some of them expressed a keen interest in Chinese tales inspired by the highlights, making him believe that Chinese filmmakers can leverage this event to actively pursue international cooperation and effectively promote Chinese stories on a global scale.

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