MUMBAI: The organizing committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival has announced that Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Hayden Christensen, Rain, Song Seung Heon and Park Shin Hye will grace the red carpet at the opening ceremony on 14 June. The closing ceremony red carpet scheduled for 22 June will be equally as star-studded with Natalie Portman and Son Tae-Yeong, among others, on parade.
Shanghai International Film Festival’s (SIFF) opening night is renowned for attracting the strongest array of "red carpet" stars of any festival in Asia. In recent years it has hosted Halle Berry, Adrien Brody, John Paul Cusack, Sharon Stone, Clive Owen, and Susan Sarandon. The stand-out feature this year is the pair of Best Actress Oscar-winning stars, Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman, headlining SIFF's grandest line-up of overseas film celebrities.
British heartthrob Hugh Grant will be making his debut visit to Shanghai to promote his new work The Rewrite and Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, will attend to support his new film Outcast. The movie is a China-US co-production co-starring China's Liu Yifei and Andy On.
The presence of many well-known Korean stars on the red carpet this year reflects the surging popularity of Korean TV series and films in Asia and around the world. Rain will attend with Liu Yifei to promote Difficult Love, a film by director Gao Xixi. Song Seung Heon will bring his new film Obsessed. Son Tae-yeong will hit the closing ceremony red carpet for her co-starring work in a Chinese film.
As the only A-accredited film festival in China, SIFF has gained a reputation over the years for its strong line-up of guest international celebrities on the red carpet and in other festival activities.
Since last year’s glittering festival appearances by Helen Mirren (The Queen), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) there has been strong interest in who will attend this year. Kidman's latest movie, Grace of Monaco, will be screened at SIFF in the film premiere section, giving Shanghai audiences an opportunity to see it before general release in China.
The movie opened the Cannes Film Festival program in May and is relatively unknown by Chinese movie fans. Hollywood sweetheart Kidman will attend the Shanghai screening as part of her first visit to the city in a movie promotion role. The visiting stars will also participate in a range of other film industry activities during the festival.
China has rapidly grown into the second most important box office battlefield after the U.S in the increasingly competitive world cinema market. As one of the most important exchange platforms for Chinese and foreign films, SIFF has won increasing recognition and support at home and abroad for its integrated promotion, marketing and distribution activities.
American and European producers are highly aware of the promotion opportunities provided by SIFF. More and more Chinese and overseas film companies consider participation in the festival in June as an essential opportunity to premiere and promote films to be released during summer holidays.
SIFF provides an important promotion and marketing platform for those films. The festival opens the door for overseas filmmakers into the Chinese market and serves as an important stage for displaying the latest productions. At the same time, these key filmmakers draw worldwide attention to China.
With the world's media feasting on the star-studded opening and closing ceremonies and, the festival's strong program, SIFF and the Chinese industry's unique style and elegant demeanour are prominently showcased.