New event, kicking off in April 2011, to combine market, screenings and industry forums.

China’s State Administration of Film, Radio and Television (SARFT) and Beijing City Government have announced that they will jointly organize a Beijing-based international film event called Beijing International Film Season (BIFS), which will combine international film market, film screenings and industry forums.

The first BIFS will be held from April 23-28, 2011. The one-week event will also combine the two existing Beijing-based film events, Beijing Screenings and the Beijing Student Film Festival. Beijing Screenings, a platform to promote and sell Chinese films to international buyers, has previously been held in September.

According to Li Chunliang, director of Beijing City Bureau of Film, Radio and Television, the main purpose to organize the BIFS and to combine the existing film events is to integrate the city’s film industry resources and to make Beijing city a capital of film and TV industry.

More than 80 percent of China’s film production companies are located in Beijing and around 80 percent of the country’s directors, producers, film-making professionals and talents are based in Beijing.  According to Li, among the 500 local films produced in 2010, 260 of them were produced in Beijing city.

BIFS events will include a red carpet ceremony, industry forums, screenings of local and foreign films, and film music concerts. Organisers are expected to screen about 100 foreign and local films at the one-week event. 

Speaking of the difference between BIFS and the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), which is currently the only FIAPF A-listed film festival in China, Li said the BIFS will focus more on film trade events, industry forums and film concerts.  And there will not be a competitions or awards at the first BIFS.

Since 2006, SIFF also has a film market, film project market and industry forums.

The organizing committee of BIFS is composed mainly of SARFT officials and Beijing City Government Officials, as well as heads of Beijing city government’s affiliated business such as Beijing TV Station (BTV) and cable TV provider Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group.  Beijing-based film industry players such as Han Sanping, head of state-owned China Film Group, and managers of Wanda International Cinema and Stellar Cinema City are also among the committee members.