Hollywood, Asian film industry bigwigs to grace festival
Saipan is set to roll out its red carpet reception yet when it hosts Hollywood and Asian film industry stars, along with a large number of festival participants, for the first ever Marianas International Film Festival from Dec. 6 to 8.
The staging of the film festival is being promoted as a spotlight that will focus on the Marianas as the newest film and movie industry destination.
The MIFF is hosted by the Saipan Film Society, LCC and is sponsored by Imperial Pacific International, Ltd. and Shenzhen Golden Rose Pictures Corp., in partnership with Marianas Visitors Authority and telecom firm IT&E.
MIFF was established this year, with Saipan as its permanent home.
‘Glitz and glam’
The Dec. 6 to 8 festival will be a display of glitz and glamor. Organizers estimate the arrival of close to 600 festival participants.
A grand opening ceremony will be held for the MIFF participants at the grand lobby of Imperial Palace (Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel-Saipan). This will be on Dec. 6.
On Dec. 7, the Young Director Supporting Plan, filmmaker, and industry forums will be held.
The public is invited to all free movie screenings of festival entries. This will be on Dec. 7. The free movie screening is from 10am to 10pm at the Regal Saipan Megaplex 7.
The façade of the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel Saipan will serve as the venue for the Dec. 8 red carpet premiere parade. This will be followed by an awards ceremony at the grand hotel lobby.
Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel-Saipan is a multimillion-dollar casino resort that boasts of a grand staircase, indoor LED screen and an opulent lobby, among other features of the flagship investment of the Hong Kong-based investment giant.
Top caliber festival jury
Saipan will shine brightly during this period, with a host of high profile Hollywood, Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Taiwan film industry players expected to arrive.
Named MIFF jury president is Hong Kong director and writer Alex Law K.Y. His most notable works include Painted Faces, An Autumn’s Tale, and Echoes of the Rainbow that have won him the Golden Horse awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, among others.
Hollywood writer and director Max Borenstein is also jury member. He wrote, edited, and directed international films including Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, Arc of Justice, and Seventh Son, to name a few.
Award-winning producer and actress Kimberly Kates is also a jury member. Kates has made over 40 films and television series. She also produced 18 films. Her films have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and Sitges.
Kates, also the founder and CEO of BSEG Holdings and Entertainment Group, has worked for all major studios, including Universal, ABC, CBS, Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, and Disney, both as a producer and actress.
She is currently developing a 10 picture-deal with Netflix through her partners at Original Films (Fast & Furious).
Another festival jury member is Kang Je-gyu, a highly respected writer, director and producer in South Korea. He has directed films such as The Gingko Bed, Swir, Brotherhood, and Awaiting. He has won the Blue Dragon award, Grand Bell award, and Baek Sang Art award, among others.
Another top caliber jury is China’s Buting Yang. He is the former director of China Film Science and Technology Institute, deputy director of SARFT, chairman of China Film Group, chairman of China Motion Picture Association, and former chairman of China Film Promotion International, among other notable positions he has previously held.
Yang has directed the national science and technology project “Digital Processing System of High Precision Continuous Image Application Research” (Digital Film Production Technology). It earned him honors and awards for Scientific and Technological Progress, Hi-Tech Demonstration Project, China Movie Awards and World Media Contribution Award of America. He has presided over construction projects of national digital film production base.
Well-known Japanese actress Ryoko Nakano is another jury member. Nakano’s works include Lady Ogin, Manhunt, Never Give Up, Writhing Tongue. She also is a Peace ambassador.
Completing the MIFF jury panel is Taiwan’s T’ung Wang, a film director and art designer. He has directed over 100 films, among them Blue Gate Crossing, Red Persimmon, Banana Paradise, Journey to the West, and Run Away. His credits comprise numerous accolades that include the coveted Best Director award at the Golden Horse Awards and Best Picture award at the Shanghai International Film Festival. (PR)