Confronted with the unprecedented challenges of the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020, all major domestic and international film festivals have been reshaped to varying degrees. Standing in solidarity with all, the Hainan Island International Film Festival firmly upholds our deep concern for the cinematic arts. We hope to offer an opportunity for all audiences and people deeply intertwined with cinema to rediscover the charms of the silver screen and present a long-waited gala of cinema.
Hainan Island International Film Festival takes place at the end of each year. The HIIFF curatorial team fully leverages our seasonal advantage and meticulously curates films that have been screened or released during the year. The Out-of-Competition lineup presents the most acclaimed contemporary films for local audiences and highlights emerging talents and promising developments in Chinese cinema to the whole world.
This year, HIIFF will exhibit 195 films, comprehensively covering universally recognized works of art from 2020, with films extending across geographical distances and periods. The new films slated for festival projection come from established international film festivals, including Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, and Sundance. 92.5% of the films are film premieres, and 97 films qualify as Mainland China premieres.
The 2020 HIIFF has established eight Out-of-Competition screening sections: Gala, World Cinema, Asian Spectrum, China Vista, Reality Matters, Possibilities, Spotlight, and Cinema Regained. These sections exhibit a diverse spectrum of films with global and domestic origins.
Gala is a new section established in 2020, envisioned to curate remarkable new works that have caught the attention of critics and audiences alike at major international film festivals. The star-laden prominent films are ready to meet and amaze the audiences. Inviting audiences back to the cinemas, infused with film festival excitements, we will extend the film festival spectrum, experience the charms of cinema’s enduring popularity, and allow the gleaming star lights to illuminate radiantly.
World Cinema section embraces all films with an open arm, wherever they are from, whether they are masterworks by famed champions of cinema or born out of emerging talents’ surging ambitions, whether they have already received countless recognition or are yet to be unveiled to new audiences. As the world drowns in despondence, many filmmakers seem to have foreseen the extraordinary moment and inscribed their profound thoughts into their works. We invite our audiences to reflect with these films, and project our gazes into a panoramic vision of the world.
Asian Spectrum is our Asian film section, carefully curating a hand-picked selection of Asian films of the year. This year’s Asian Spectrum lineup is diversified in genres and distinctively stylized. From unmissable new works by renowned directors to budding talents’ debut works, these films travel between the Past and the Present, combining artistic mastery with social significance. Coming together at Asian Spectrum, they construct a new landscape for Asian cinema.
China Vista section focuses on the creations of contemporary Chinese cinema. As Chinese filmmakers attempt to cover a wide range of narrative genres and creative subjects, more creators show a heartfelt concern for reality. By carefully capturing the human condition, the unexpected journeys and encounters are fixed in the frames, sympathetically resonating with life.
Reality Matters section traverses the medium of documentary films to illustrate the rich textures of the real world. Following the images of reality with these six documentaries, we drift from Eurasia to a Hawaiian island, and silently observe the manifold narration of varied life forms. The landscape in a floating world is a microscopic representation of an individual’s human conditions and a reflection of macroscopic hints of prospering societies. Behind the lens, within the frames, we recognize these directors for their reflections and thoughts on societies, full of humanistic concerns.
Possibilities section continues to pay attention to narrative auteurs with multiple perspectives. Cinema is a vehicle for points of view that continue to expand new horizons. From personal complications to collective empathies, these auteurs apply avant-garde perspectives and filmic narratives, through filmmaking experimentations, to delineate their visual worlds for us, depicted in intricately differentiated layers.
Cinema Regained section meets the 80th anniversary of Andrzej Zulawski’s birth. Full of personal signatures throughout his works, the Polish director is one of the most debated contemporary cinema figures. The classics section of 2020 presents four HD restorations of Zulawski’s most representative and riveting films from his filmmaking career. The Section also includes three most recent 4K anniversary-edition restorations of fine works from the glorious days of cinema and a thriller film full of “island” atmosphere.
Spotlight section brings a series of works that have left profound legacies on African cinema. Some of these films discuss Africans’ identity in the post-colonial era, while others are the commercial products resulting from the African film industry’s accelerated development. As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa has cultivated innumerable wonders of the world. African cinema, just like its people, has survived the lasting spell of Western colonialism and has always sought its own identity and the right of representation. Cinema exists like an oasis on the land that is primarily dominated by deserts. When we observe in close proximity, we will be enchanted by its breathtaking appeals.