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Curtain raised for 20th Shanghai International Film Festival

From left: Actress Zhang Tian\'ai, Liu Yifei, Yang Mi, Yu Nan and Charlene Choi at the red carpet of the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival tonight. -- Dong Jun

From left: Actress Zhang Tian'ai, Liu Yifei, Yang Mi, Yu Nan and Charlene Choi at the red carpet of the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival tonight. -- Dong Jun

THE 20th Shanghai International Film Festival raised its curtain tonight at Shanghai Grand Theater with a star-studded red carpet show and grand opening ceremony.

More than 400 film celebrities from home and abroad walked down the red carpet. Film crews from around 30 new film productions also participated in the opening ceremony.

Among the stars were French actor Jean Reno, Taiwan heartthrob Tony Yeung, French actress Julie Delpy, Chinese mainland filmmaker Feng Xiaogang and Japanese actress Ueto Aya.

Reno and Yeung brought their latest offering "The Adventurers," an action film by Stephen Fung. The film which tells a story of treasure hunt will be released on August 11.

"It was wonderful to work with Chinese actors," said Reno. "We were very happy together."

Delpy, on her first visit to China said that Chinese food is great and Shanghai dish is her favorite. 

Hong Kong director Andrew Lau brought his new historical epic film "The Founding of An Army." The film, to be released nationally on July 28, depicts Nanchang Uprising, a famous event on August 1, 1927. 

Famous film maker Ning Hao attended with his newly produced martial arts film "Brotherhood of Blades." The film will also open the festival's Jackie Chan Action Movie Week.

Director Feng Xiaogang showed up on the red carpet to promote his new production "Youth," a heartwarming period drama based on the novel of Yan Geling.

This year the film fest is celebrating its 20th edition. Film celebrities who used to be involved in the past editions conveyed their best wishes to the festival.

According to Ying Yong, Mayor of Shanghai, the film festival has been devoted to supporting young film talents and propelling China's film industry over the passing decades. This year's fest, with a highlight of "Belt and Road" initiative will also screen movies from countries that were part of the Silk Road route.

Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, known for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” and “Graduation,” is the jury president for the coveted Golden Goblet Awards. Mungiu said at the opening ceremony that one of the most important things of film is looking for the truth.

A total of 14 feature films are nominated for the main competition of the Golden Goblet Awards, including Japanese entry “Reminiscence,” American film “Brigsby Bear” and German film “My Brother Simple.” Documentaries and animated productions will also vie for the awards.

The 93-year-old film artist Wang Danfeng received the Life Achievement Award for her contribution to Chinese Cinema.

Celebrated Danish director Bille August’s war epic “The Chinese Widow” was the opening film.

The festival will run till June 26. In addition to film competition, it will also offer events including film panorama, film forum, SIFF project and film market.

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