Belgian cinema heads to Shanghai Film Fest

CNC report from Brussels
Added On June 19, 2013

A Belgian film called "The World Belongs to Us" will be screened at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival. Producer Michael Goldberg says he thinks it's a unique chance for Belgian cinema to be shown in China, and for professionals from both countries to meet and learn from each other.

Goldberg spoke to a CNC correspondent before heading to Shanghai for the festival, which began on Saturday.

"The World Belong To Us" is the story of two young men, Pouga and Julien, both in their twenties.

Despite their differences, they have one thing in common -- an uncertain future.

The production team hopes the film will touch Chinese audiences the same way as it did Europeans and Americans.

"I would say it is an intimate action movie. It goes into the depths of the human soul, and all of a sudden, there is an action scene. I think this is also a specific aspect of Chinese cinema. This is why I think that 'The World Belongs To Us' can touch not only the youth of Belgium, France, Holland, Canada and the US, but also in China. It is a great opportunity for the movie to go to China and be able to meet its Chinese audience."

Presenting their film in China for the first time, the team is excited to discover a different culture.

"One day we got an email saying 'we really liked your film, we would like to screen it at the Shanghai International Film Festival.' This is something very touching, we realized that on the other side of the world, someone received it, likes it, and wants to introduce it to their local audience."

Belgian filmmakers have a special expertise in shooting films in Africa, due to the historical links between Belgium and the continent.

Goldberg said he wants to explore with Chinese filmmakers a new way of shooting movies in Africa.

"Today, daily life in Africa also involves Chinese. Among these themes, we could develop a movie in which we could have Chinese, Congolese and Belgian actors. We are actually working on a project with an international Belgian movie star. This would be a change of perspective, and it would also show that different cultures can meet and mingle."

The Shanghai International Film Festival, or SIFF,  was founded in 1993 and is now in its sixteenth edition.

Along with the Tokyo International Film Festival, the SIFF is one of the biggest film festivals in East Asia.

SIFF will run through Sunday, June 23rd.