The 2nd BRICS Film Festival is underway in Chengdu, China
The BRICS grouping started out as an alliance of economic collaboration among the world's largest emerging markets.
But over the past 10-years, the group has branched out into various other areas, including film.
Indian delegates pose for picture during the 2nd BRICS Film Festival in Chengdu, China on June 23rd, 2017. [Photo: CRI/Zhang Jie]
A top-flight film festival is underway in Sichuan's capital, Chengdu, featuring films from all BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Zou Jixiang, head of the local media division in Chengdu, says the festival is part of a lead-up to the BRICS Summit due to be held in September.
The 2nd BRICS Film Festival gets underway with a gala at the Grand Theatre of Overseas Chinese Town in Chengdu, China on June 23rd, 2017. The photo shows a dancing performed by local artists. [Photo: CRI/Zhang Jie]
"In order to fully demonstrate the diverse cultural characteristics and cinematic achievements of these five BRICS member states, the organisers of the festival made detailed arrangements. Each country has selected two movies for the competition section. These are two newly-released films. They've also provided two older films for screenings as well," Zou said.
A delegate is posing for picture before the opening ceremony of the 2nd BRICS Film Festival in Chengdu, China on June 23rd, 2017. [Photo: CRI/Zhang Jie]
A jury made up of one film industry respresentative from each country is going to decide which films will be taking home the "Panda Awards."
Internationally acclaimed Chinese director Xie Fei is this year's jury president.
As director of the Chinese delegation, Zhang Hongsen is vice president of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
In one of the venues of the 2nd BRICS Film Festival, visitors will find a line-up of colourful panda sculptures. Besides each sculpture, there stands a poster that introduces one movie. [Photo: China Plus]
He said: "After years of rapid development, the growth of the Chinese film market has eased up somewhat. But it's nothing unusual. However, we do need to recognise the challenges and pressing issues that we are facing today. For example, we still don't have enough high-quality movies to meet the market demand. We haven't allowed enough lower-level imput into the system. That's why strengthening international cooperation is one of the important steps for us to develop Chinese film."
This year's edition of the BRICS Film Festival will include a panel discussion to try to correct some of the issues.
Film makers and actors from five BRICS countries celebrate the premiere of the first BRICS co-production, “Where Has Time Gone?” in Chengdu, China on June 23rd, 2017. Chinese director Jia Zhangke (Third from left) has teamed up with four established directors from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa to make a movie, which is scheduled to be released in September this year. [Photo: China Plus]
Officials, film makers and industry insiders from all the BRICS countries will be part of the sessions, sharing thoughts and concepts among one-another.
Coming to China for the very first time, South African director Jahmil Qubeka says he's thrilled by the opportunity.
"I think it's very exciting. I think it's an amazing space in terms of exchange cultures and celebrate cultures. I am always more fascinated with what unites humanity rather than what divides us. So in that sense, i think it's an exceptional initiative. Also because I think film is one of the most visceral forms that can be used as a tool for cross-cultural understanding of people other than yourself, Qubeka noted. "Because when you watch the film, all the sudden, you enter into that world. All the sudden, you are somewhere from the other side of the planet. So I think it's fantastic. I think it's absolutely amazing and I hope it could grow and becomes something that is really tangible and strong."
Movie posters could be found in six cinemas across Chengdu during the 2nd BRICS Film Festival, which runs from June 23 to 27, 2017. [Photo: China Plus]
"Where Has Time Gone?", which is composed by five short films made by directors from BRICS countries, opened the film festival; whereas the South African romantic comedy, "Mrs Right Guy" is the closing movie.
The first BRICS Film Festival was held in the Indian capital, New Delhi in September.
This year's edition runs until this coming Tuesday.