‘Jojo Rabbit’ to Open Macao Festival & Awards

Taika Waititi’s provocative Nazi comedy “Jojo Rabbit” has been set as the opening night gala screening at the fourth edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao.

The festival packs together a competition section that includes recent festival favorites Gitanjali Rao’s animation “Bombay Rose,” and barely fictionalize modern-day slavery drama “Buoyancy,” by Rodd Rathjen, alongside gala screenings of “Shaun The Sheep 2: Farmageddon,” and Japan’s “Dance With Me,” by Shinobu Yaguchi.

A strong Chinese presence includes “Better Days,” by Derek Tsang; Cannes Critics Week film “Dwelling In The Fuchun Mountains,” by Gu Xiaogang; “To Live To Sing,” by Johnny Ma; and Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s “Wet Season.”

The World Panorama strand films by celebrated directors, includes “The Invisible Life Of Eurídice Gusmao,” winner of Un Certain Regard, “Little Joe,” for which Emily Beecham won best actress in Cannes, and “Proxima,” for which director Alice Winocour won special prize of the jury at San Sebastian. It also includes ore Chinese titles, Lou Ye’s “Saturday Fiction,” Diao Yinan’s “Wild Goose Lake” and Pema Tseden’s “Balloon.”

The competition is worth a generous $60,000 first prize. The jury selecting the winners includes Peter Chan Ho-sun, executive Ellen Eliasoph, actress Dian Sastrowardoyo, director Midi Z, and actor Tom Cullen.

The festival will run from Thursday December 5 until Tuesday Dec. 10, 2019. Its accompanying film project market and industry conference series runs 6-8 Dec.

“I am especially pleased that there are five new Macao features in the program in this special anniversary year,” said the IFFAM’s artistic director Mike Goodridge. After a period of Portuguese, colonial rule, Macau returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. The five are: ensemble film “Years of Macao”; “Ina and the Blue Tiger Sauna,” by Antonio Caetano de Faria; “Let’s Sing,” by Keo Lou; “Patio of Illusion,” by Chen Shangshi; and “String Of Sorrow,” by Oliver Fa.

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“With the experience from the last three editions, the organizing committee will progressively shape IFFAM into a mega event established with its own orientation, unique characteristics and special elements of Macao,” said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of Macao Government Tourism Office, director and president of the IFFAM’s organizing committee. “The committee hopes to cultivate a more profound level of appreciation towards international films among audiences in Macao by bringing together Chinese and Western movies of remarkable quality.”

IFFAM 2019 competition selection
“Bellbird” dir. Hamish Bennett (New Zealand)
“Bombay Rose” dir. Gitanjali Rao (India/France/U.K./Qatar)
“Buoyancy” dir. Rodd Rathjen (Australia)
“Family Members” dir. Mateo Bendesky (Argentina)
“Give Me Liberty” dir. Kirill Mikhanovsky (U.S.)
“Goldie” dir. Sam de Jong (U.S.)
“Homecoming” dir. Adriyanto Dewo (Indonesia)
“Lynn + Lucy” dir. Fyzal Boulifa (U.K./France)
“Two Of Us” dir.Filippo Meneghetti (France/Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg)
“Two/One” dir.Juan Cabral (U.K./Mainland China/Canada)