Sydney China Film Festival to unite filmmakers
By Gemma Kaczerepa
Director Tony Ayres has thrown his support behind the inaugural Sydney China Film Festival, which he believes will strengthen ties between the Chinese and Australian film industries.
Speaking today at a media conference in Sydney, the director of award-winning films Home Song Stories and Walking on Water said that the film festival would change many misconceptions surrounding China and also allow Australian audiences to understand the similarities between Australian and Chinese cultures.
“To see Chinese films, one can see the lives of Chinese people and break down preconceptions. In a world dominated by clichés about what we’re like, cinema can break that down. One can also see the similarities and universalities of common stories,” he said.
Following the success of Chinese film festivals in the United States, Canada and China, organisers have decided to bring eighteen independent and blockbuster films to Australian audiences. The festival committee hopes that by bringing Chinese cinema to Australia, greater links and cross-cultural awareness can be created between filmmakers from both countries.
“It is promoting cultural exchange between Australia and China and bringing together Australian and Chinese filmmakers,” said actress and Beyond Tomorrow presenter, Anna Choy.
The film festival comes as an official part of the Chinese New Year celebrations taking place in late January. Organisers are set to make the festival an annual event in Sydney, with preparations for the 2010 festival starting imminently.
There are also plans to start a similar festival in China that promotes Australian films in order to further strengthen cross-cultural ties.
The festival runs from Saturday 31 January until Friday 6 February 2009 only at the Greater Union George Street Cinemas. The opening ceremony will take place on Friday 30 January.
For further information, please visit www.sydneychinafilmfestival.org.au