The second edition of the International Film Festival & Awards – Macau (IFFAM) intends to be a platform to celebrate new filmmakers, offering a USD60,000 prize to the best feature of first and second-time directors.
As well as featuring a variety of classic films, the festival is also highlighting young filmmakers from abroad to stimulate the young local filmmaking culture in the city.
Appointed as the festival’s artistic director for this year’s edition (after renowned film director and festival planner Marco Müller suddenly resigned before the inaugural edition in 2016), former Protagonist Pictures CEO Mike Goodridge stated that the IFFAM gives effect to the intention to promote cinema from many parts of the world. In doing so, IFFAM brings exposure to new filmmakers and introduces young filmmakers in Macau to the global film conversation.
Speaking to the Times, Goodridge stated his belief that while Macau has the potential to advance in its filmmaking production it is still in need of infrastructure, training and education for aspiring filmmakers.
The film expert also noted that the region, as an entertainment hub, is also capable of attracting multi-million dollar film productions – which would also be to the advantage of local crews and stimulate the local industry.
“When you bring a hundred million dollar production like that, you can employ a lot of people. They start to learn how to do things very quickly and very easily,” he said on the sidelines of the British Business Association of Macau’s morning talk.
“Once you have that group of local people who know how to do films, other films will come and shoot here because they have the local crew. It takes a while to build up the expertise and takes commitment to stimulate the local industry,” Goodridge continued.
The artistic director expressed hopes that the upcoming film festival will serve as a ‘cog in a wheel’ to attract foreign films to shoot in the region.
Meanwhile, questioned by the Times on what the audience can expect from the second edition of IFFAM, Goodridge noted that there is a notable line up of movies this year, adding that a few would not be out in cinemas until next year.
“We’ve got some of the best films of the year. […] It’s really diverse,” he affirmed. He added that he wished to encourage locals to participate in the festival.
The expert noted that film festivals also take a few years to develop before gaining the trust of foreign communities to allow their films to be featured in the region.
Goodridge pledged to work hard to continually promote the festival amongst the local audience in a bid to encourage the public to engage in the film industry, thus supporting local filmmakers as well.
The second IFFAM will be held from December 8 to 14 this year with the theme “A New Avenue to the World of Films.”
The festival will open with the regional premiere of Paul King’s “Paddington 2”, while French filmmaker Laurent Cantet will lead the event’s main competition jury.
A Best of Fest Panorama section of IFFAM will feature ten award-winning films including “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Florida Project,” “Angels Wear White,” and “Sweet Country.”
The latest creations from international cinema will play in the Flying Daggers section, including “A Prayer Before Dawn” by Jean- Stephane Sauvaire, Brian Taylor’s “Mom and Dad” and S. Craig Zahler’s “Brawl in Cellblock 99.”
Out-of-competition screenings include the 30th anniversary presentation of Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” and Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner “The Shape of Water.”