Magazine article Screen International

Marco Müller Talks Inaugural Macao Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

Marco Müller Talks Inaugural Macao Film Festival

Article excerpt

The inaugural edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) can take advantage of Macao's singular position in the world: this autonomous territory sits on the western side of the Pearl River Delta in China; it is also just 64km from Hong Kong. So a film event in Macao can offer unique insight into the Chinese audience and market without having the restrictions that come with actually being in China.

It is no accident the festival will last six days (December 8-13). Organisers are taking advantage of the fact every Chinese citizen can visit Macao for up to seven days per year. So Macao's tourist organisations and famed hotels are offering packages that can include film festival accreditation.

"At least half of our audience is the mainland China audience," says veteran festival head Marco Müller, who serves as Macao's festival director. "We want to strike a balance with the mainland China audiences and the Macao audience. And Hong Kong is only a 55-minute ferry away so we expect some audience from there, too."

Film-makers and industry will get to see how their films play to a mainland Chinese audience, and there will also be key Chinese-language media in Macao.

"You create top visibility for the kind of singular films that have a chance in the greater Chinese market," says Müller, who has been one of the festival circuit's greatest champions of Asian cinema for decades during his years at Venice, Locarno, Rome, Rotterdam and, in 2015, as an advisor to Beijing International Film Festival.

Crossing cultures

But Macao is not only looking towards China. The festival aims to be a gateway to east Asian cinema while also connecting film culture globally.

One unique selling point to the film programme is the Crossfire strand, which will screen 12 non-east Asian, non-US genre films selected by a dozen major east Asian film-makers.

For instance, South Korea's Park Chan-wook selected Nicolas Roeg's 1973 classic Don't Look Now; Japan's Sion Sono picked Terence Fisher's 1958 Dracula; and Hong Kong's Johnnie To chose Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966).

"I wanted to make the point that genre cinema is not just east Asian genre cinema or American genre cinema," Müller explains. "By talking over the years to film-makers, I did remember that there were films that stayed as a reference for them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.