Marco Mueller, recently appointed general advisor of the 5th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF), has unveiled his team of ten international industry professionals.

The programming team is headed by Chinese director Chen Zhiheng, who has been appointed general secretary, external affairs of this year’s BJIFF. He will head a China-based team that will support Mueller’s overseas professionals.

The overseas team includes Alena Shumakova, an experienced consultant for international film festivals; programmer Marie-Pierre Duhamel; India-based curator Deepti D’Cunha; writer and programmer Paolo Bertolin; critic and consultant Diego Lerer; journalist and festival organiser Joumane Chahine; publisher and producer Martin Marquet; Tomita Mikiko, a film selector focusing on Japan and Europe; and Iranian actor, video editor and film festival professional Babak Karimi.

In addition to programming the festival, the international team is looking at potential collaborators for market activity and special events. The team is also making arrangements to bring film industry delegations to the festival, which runs April 16-23.

In a statement the festival said: “In selecting and inviting candidate films, they target the best films from across the world with the focus on films to be premiered globally, hoping that these films can be distributed into the international market via Beijing.”

Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) announced that it is introducing a “MPA Grand Prize” to be awarded to the winner of the annual MPA Film Workshop, which is held as part of the BJIFF’s Beijing Film Market.