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GPIFF 2016 Press Conference held

The 4th Golden Panda International Short Film Festival (GPIFF) Press Conference was held on July 26, 2016 at Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, Canada. Accompanied by distinguished guests, the executive member of the GPIFF 2016 Festival Committee and representative of festival organizers Sandy You announced the official launch of this year’s festival.

Guests at the press conference included President of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts Jan Walls, Hollywood Director and Producer Michael French, Co-founder and CTO of H+ Technology Dhruv Adhia and previous award-winners representative Bobo Zhao.

Organized by the GPIFF Festival Committee, China Network Television and Orient Star Media Inc., this year’s festival will kick off on Aug. 9. Filmmakers worldwide can submit their works over the coming two months from Aug. 9 to Oct. 9.

GPIFF 2016 contains eight stages, which are: Film Submission, Public Screening, Campus Events, Jury Selection, Golden Panda Film Industry Forum, Red Carpet and Private Cocktail Party, Award Ceremony, and Golden Panda International Filmmakers Cultural Immersion Trip.

This year’s festival presents six awards, including Best Picture, Best Humanistic Vision, Best Animation, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Special Jury Award. As rewards, all award-winners will be invited to participate in the Cultural Immersion Trip to China in 2017.

A significant component of the festival, the inaugural Golden Panda Film Industry Forum will be held on Dec. 1 at Vancouver’s Marriott Hotel. Based on the theme of Incubation, Technology and Capital, topics to be discussed at the forum involve Embracing technology and humanity in filmmaking, Market, capital and prospect of short film and The opportunity and challenge for aspiring film talents.

“We are extremely honoured to have world-class film companies joining us for this year’s festival,” said Sandy You, “together, we will work to build a B.C.-based trading market where individual filmmakers, film companies and agencies from all over the world will work on project pitching, trading, and networking.”

In addition to the forum, guests will also join the official launch of the Golden Panda Young Filmmakers Support Program, another highlight of this year’s festival. It aims to support emerging young filmmakers by providing a platform where they can connect with industry professionals, access capital, seek collaboration opportunities and cultivate intellectual property.

“China will surpass North America to become world’s largest film market by the end of 2017. To participate festivals like Golden Panda, it provides a rare opportunity for Western filmmakers to benefit from exposure in the International competition. And for filmmakers, they will get chance to know the real China in this terrific cultural tour,” said Prof. Jan Walls, president of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts.

Director Michael French shared his experiences as a filmmaker working in China and as the judge of Golden Panda Film Festival. He said, “the Golden Panda brings together people of different ethnicities, of different idea, but similar skills. I always learn new ideas and get inspired from these young filmmakers and I am looking forward to this year’s films.”

“Talking about things, arising ideas, introducing people to places they would probably have no opportunities to see in their life, to me, that’s being a filmmaker,” said Bobo Zhao, representative of previous award-winners in Golden Panda Festival.

“I was very lucky to have won the award and gone with the cultural immersion trip along with many filmmakers. Coming from different culture, different educational background, but we are all young and passionate about filmmaking. We shared ideas and got to introduce our work to local people. That’s fascinating, ” Zhao said.

On behalf of the GPIFF Festival Committee, Sandy You presented the Appointment Certificate to Prof. Jan Walls, who will serve as an advisor of GPIFF’s International Advisory Committee.

Teresa Wat, B.C.’s International Trade Minister and minister responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, also sent messages to the conference. She addressed the contributions GPIFF has accomplished on fostering cultural exchanges in global film industry and expressed her best wishes to the festival.

Official website of GPIFF 2016, www.gpiff.com, will be launched on Aug. 9. From then on until Oct. 9, filmmakers can go on to the website to submit their works. Publics are welcomed to visit the website for more festival information. From Oct. 10 to Nov. 10, GPIFF Jury appointed by the Festival Committee will pick official festival selections. Meanwhile, festival staff will be visiting schools across Canada, the United States and China to organize public screenings and campus events. Red Carpet, Private Cocktail Party and Award Ceremony will be held at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Dec. 2.