Created by the filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke (A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart) with former Venice festival head Marco Muller serving as the artistic director, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival (PYIFF) is being described as "the first boutique Chinese film festival“. The inaugural edition of the festival kicks off October 28, and will be held in Pingyao Ancient City. Located between Beijing and Xi´an, Pingyao is listed on the World Cultural Heritage map. A major tourist destination, the city was chosen to embrace the dialogue between non-Western and Western film communities with its 2700 years of history. The festival was established with an intention to bridge together the Chinese film industry with those of emerging countries.
Named after Ang Lee´s film, the competition section will also bear the names respectively. Crouching Tigers will round up emerging talents with debut or sophomore features from around the world. Hidden Dragons zeroes on the latest trends and developments in genre cinema. A special sidebar, New Generation China, is dedicated to local productions. Best of Fest is going to round up the films from the current festival season and give them Asian premieres while retrospective/tributes and red carpet galas will have a special place in the line-up. Pingyao Corner is an extended project to “present more opportunities for fresh images for audiences to choose and communicate freely”. Projections of selected films will be done in a form of open-field screenings by the side of ancient city walls of Pingyao.
The team of seasoned programmers under the lead of Muller has been tasked to curate a selection of approximately 40 films for the inaugural edition. Besides the curatorial team, the festival has two advisory boards with ten members already confirmed: Feng Xiaogang, Johnnie To, Walter Salles, Aleksandr Sokurov, Olivier Père, Anurag Kashyap, James Schamus, Roger Garcia, Alexander Rodnyansky and Tony Cao.
PYIFF has already a festival ambassador, award-winning actress Fan Bingbing, who recently starred in Buddha Mountain and I Am Not Madame Bovary. The PYIFF organizers aim to make the festival the new "lever" of the film industry planning to dynamise the national and international cinema landscape. "PYIFF aims to be an innovative and beneficial balancing act, that will introduce international filmmakers and film genres to young Chinese audiences and new Chinese films and filmmakers to the world," revealed Muller.
Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival runs from October 28 until November 4 2017 in Pingyao, Jinzhong, Shanxi Province, China