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Golden Goblet Awards runneth over

FROM Oscar-winning blockbusters to low-budget art-house and documentary films, the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival screens films for everyone.

From tomorrow to June 20, 300 acclaimed, classic, or at least interesting foreign and domestic films will be screened citywide at 25 cinemas. Many are the latest productions by well-known film makers.

It will feature a retrospective of films by Woody Allen and John Woo, classic movies from Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy and Ireland, as well as new Chinese cinema.

Films with environmental topics will be a highlight, echoing World Expo Shanghai's theme "Better City, Better Life," including veteran French director Jacques Perrin's latest sea-life documentary "Oceans" and the Luc Besson-produced "Home," which uses aerial photography from 54 countries to demonstrate the interconnections among the world's problems.

Two highly anticipated films will have their Chinese premiere at the festival - Besson's 12th feature film, "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec," and the spy thriller "Shanghai" starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li.

In "Adele Blanc Sec" (screened next Monday) based on a European comic series, the feisty journalist (Louise Bourgoin) protagonist travels the world in 1911, fights reanimated mummies and thwarts political corruption and mad scientists.

"Shanghai" (screened next Thursday) is against the backdrop of World War II in occupied Shanghai, shortly before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

An American reporter (and intelligence agent) played by Cusack goes to Shanghai to investigate the murder of a friend. He starts nosing around, falls in love with a Shanghai woman and runs into trouble with the local gangster boss.

Before the first screening of each film, Bourgoin and Cusak will chat with the theater audience.

The eight-day festival begins tomorrow night when more than 300 stars and celebrities will walk down the red carpet for the opening at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

The Golden Goblet (Jin Jue) Awards will be handed out on the last day while film salons and workshops will feature industry experts discussing new-media movies and collaborations between Hollywood and Chinese cinema.

This year's festival has drawn a record 2,327 entries from 81 countries and regions competing in various categories for a Golden Goblet, according to Tang Lijun, an official with the film festival.

Sixteen films have been selected for best film, including Italian director Gabriele Muccino's "Kiss Me Again," Canadian film maker Leo Pool's "The Last Escape" and two Chinese productions - "Deep in the Clouds" by Liu Jie and "Ocean Heaven" by Xue Xiaolu.

The seven-member jury will be chaired by Hollywood-based Chinese director John Woo. Members include Chinese film maker Wang Xiaoshuai, Israeli director Amos Gitai and American director, producer and scriptwriter Bill Guttentag.

Ten films are in the running for the Asian New Talent Award to support promising young directors. The films include Japanese production "Cast Me If You Can" by Atsushi Ogata, South Korean film "Goodbye Mom" by Jeong Gi-hun and two Chinese movies - Yang Rui's "Crossing the Mountain" and veteran actress Jiang Wenli's directorial debut "Lan."

This year's film forum focuses on China-Hollywood collaboration and finding a new orientation for Chinese films by young directors. Matching capital with Chinese creativity will be a major topic.

Experts will brainstorm about this partnership in the new cinema world shaped by "Avatar" and "2010" and discuss the way forward now that China has become one of the world's major movie markets.

The film festival also recognizes the power of new media. A round table will discuss new-media channels for film distribution.

Popular video Website will cover the festival and offer online workshops and film salons.

Website president Zhang He will attend a workshop and discuss how cinema and new media can move from confrontation to mutual reliance and eventually mutual benefit.

For festival details, check


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