Chinese Film Festivals

Think all Chinese films are about martial arts? Not so. Chinese film festivals are a great way to see some of the best flicks Asian film directors have to offer.

Beijing International Movie Festival

Previously called the New Beijing International Movie Festival, BIMF is held for over three weeks each summer at various venues in Beijing. Over 50 international documentaries, feature films and shorts from China, Hong Kong and beyond are screened during the festival.

Most films are free but some have a nominal 20RMB entry fee.

BIMF awards the top films with its Golden Duck Award while the top art film gets its Beijing Crying Monkey Award. Audiences vote to award one filmmaker with the Beijing Golden Duck Audience Love Award.

Hong Kong Film Panorama

The Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels jointly curate a traveling film festival featuring seven Hong Kong films and five specially-themed films. The annual traveling festival tours a dozen European cities including Amsterdam and Berlin.

Hong Kong International Film Festival

HKIFF screens over 300 movies from 50 countries annually. The festival coincides with the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market. The films are shown at 11 venues in Hong Kong. The next festival is Mar. 20-Apr. 5, 2011. The festival includes screenings, lectures, and the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, which connects filmmakers and producers.

During the festival, the Asian Film Awards are presented by the HKIFF Society to honor filmmakers for outstanding achievement in Asian cinema.

Macao International Film and Video Festival

The annual 10 day festival, co-curated by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, screens 12 films. All films are screened at the Macao Cultural Center.

Shanghai International Film Festival

Since 1993, SIFF has screened hundreds of films from around the world. The festival is held every June and films are screened at over a dozen movie theaters in Shanghai. The 10 day festival includes: a film competition, SIFF Mart, SIFFORUM, and International Film Panorama, which screens a variety of film styles. SIFF Mart is a film market that helps connect film makers and investors. SIFFORUM is a series of lectures, seminars, round table discussions, and master classes.

The festival awards the Golden Goblet Award to the top film while the Asian New Talent Award is given to rising stars. The International Student Shorts Award honors a newcomer's film efforts.

Shanghai Short Film Contest

Hosted by a Shanghai production company, the annual Shanghai Short Film Contest culminates with a screening of contestants' 8-12 minute short films. Film themes are dependent on the content requirements, which change annually. Awards are presented to the top three films, best actor, and best actress. Audience members decide the People's Choice Award.

Summer International Film Festival

Since 2006, HKIFF has hosted a month-long film festival. Aimed at a younger audience, 30 of the trendiest Asian films are shown annually.

The next SIFF is Aug. 11-Sept. 13, 2010.

Taipei Film Festival

Held each summer, TFF screens 200 films including films directed by Chinese filmmakers and international films from over 30 countries. The next festival is Jun. 25-Jul 15, 2010.

The festival includes City Vision, New Talent Competition and Taipei Award Competition. City Vision is a non-competitive film screening of a pre-determined city. This year's city is Rio de Janeiro. The New Talent Competition features a competition among new international directors. The Taipei Award Competition is open to Taiwanese films only.

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

Held annually since 1962, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival is a month-long film festival that screens Chinese language films. It culminates with the Golden Horse Awards, which are modeled after the Academy Awards.

Recipients receive golden horse statuettes during a televised ceremony held in November or December each year.