Macao Film Festival
Macao is set to roll out red carpet for world-renowned film industry elite for what has been billed as the largest film festival staged in the historic Asian centre.
For the fourth successive year, the former Portuguese enclave – famous for its east-meets-west UNESCO World Heritage listed sites, traditions and cultures – will host the International Film Festival and Awards: Macao (IFFAM).
And among the judges to attend IFFAM2019 from December 5-10 will be accomplished Chinese film director, producer and screenwriter Peter Ho-Sun Chan, multi-award-winning Welsh actor Tom Cullen, veteran film executive and producer Ellen R. Eliasoph, and Indonesian actor and producer Dian Sastrowardoyo.
Of the selected international films up for an award will be New Zealand comedy/drama Bellbird, which was written and directed by schoolteacher Hamish Bennett who, of Maori descent, has taken out local awards for his short films The Dump and Ross and Beth. Bellbird is his first feature film.
Australian award-winning writer/director Rodd Rathjen who completed a Bachelor of Film and Television from the Victorian College of the Arts will also be in line for an award in the international film category with his feature film Buoyancy which made its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlinale in February this year. Buoyancy is heart wrenching film that focuses on a 14-year boy of a rural Cambodia family and ultimately moves to Thailand to “make his fortune” in a factory.
The film festival and awards are among a cluster of exciting festivals to be held in Macao in the lead up to Christmas and the spectacular annual New Year fireworks.
Other family-friendly events are as follow:
19th Macao Food Festival (Until Nov 24) – featuring a recreation of a Japanese village.
66th Macau Grand Prix (Nov 14-17) – featuring a full program of racing on the challenging street circuit.
9th Macao Shopping Festival (Dec) – with plenty of bargains to be had.
Macao Light Festival (Dec 1-31) – the most colourful sound and light show in Macao.
Macao International Marathon (Dec 1) – attracting athletes from around the world.
Macao International Parade (Dec 8) – colourful street festival with plenty of song and dance.
20th Anniversary fireworks (Dec 20)
“This year’s festivals will carry special significance in that they will coincide with Macao’s 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office – Australia and New Zealand (MGTO).
“Visitors can prepare for plenty of colour and excitement in coming weeks, much of the action outdoors and free” she said.
Macao will celebrate the anniversary with a special fireworks evening on December 20, the date of the handover in 1999, followed by the traditional New Year fireworks on December 31.
“In line with Macao’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the mouth-watering Macanese cuisine will be highlighted at the many festivals,” said Helen.
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