A black satire about Nazi Germany “Jojo Rabbit” directed by Taika Waititi will open this year’s International Film Festival & Awards Macau (IFFAM) taking place on December 5-10, it was announced on Tuesday.
The festival’s organising committee held a press conference at the Macau Science Centre on Tuesday where Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, who is also the committee’s president, said that this year’s event is budgeted at 55 million patacas, of which the government will bear 20 million patacas, while the Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA) and commercial sponsors will pay the remainder.
MFTPA President Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, who is also the CEO of junket operator Suncity, is the executive vice president of the festival’s organising committee, while award-winning actress Carina Lau Kar-ling from Hong Kong is the Talent Ambassador of this year’s event.
According to a presentation, the festival, in its 4th edition this year, will showcase about 50 feature and short films from the East and West, with three competition sections and six non-competition sections.
Senna Fernandes said that with experience from the last three years, the committee would progressively shape IFFAM into a mega-event with its own positioning, unique characteristics and special elements of Macau.
“The committee hopes to cultivate a more profound level of appreciation of international films among audiences in Macau by bringing together Chinese and Western movies of remarkable quality,” she said.
The festival’s opening film “Jojo Rabbit”, starring Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie and Scarlett Johansson, follows the story of a young boy in Hitler’s army finding out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the film is a screen adaptation of Christine Leunen’s novel “Caging Skies” directed by Waititi, whose other directed films include “Thor: Ragnorak”, “What We Do in the Shadows”, and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”.
Two of the films screened in the past two editions of the film festival, “The Shape of Water” and “Green Book”, went on to win the Oscars for Best Picture in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
There are 10 films running in the International Competition section including “Bombay Rose”, which opened Critics Week at the 2019 Venice Film Festival recently, and “Buoyancy”, which won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Berlinale in February.
Winner of the Best Feature in this section will receive a US$60,000 award from a five-member jury led by Hong Kong director, producer and screenwriter Peter Chan Ho-sun, whose work includes the critically acclaimed “Comrades, Almost a Love Story”, “Perhaps Love”, and “American Dreams in China”.
Films in the IFFAM programme will be screened at the Macau Cultural Centre, Macau Tower, Cinematheque.Passion, and the Old Courthouse. Tickets to films will be available today and can be purchased on www.macauticket.com or at the screening venues during the film festival.