Macao is readying itself to roll out the red carpet and reach for the stars at a number of colourful festivals and family events leading up and during the 2016 festive season.
Set for the limelight from December 8-13 is the inaugural International Film Festival and Awards where a series of films from Asia and beyond in Europe and South America will be screened with key international movie directors among the VIP guests.
Other exciting events to grab the spotlight in the former Portuguese enclave include:
- Macao Light Festival 2016 – Treasure of Light (December 4-31), Macao’s version of Sydney’s annual Vivid where many of the streets, lanes, squares and historic buildings are the focus of video mapping projections, glittering light installations, interactive games as well as a music and light shows.
- Parade through Macao – Latin City (Sunday, December 4), a colourful Sunday evening street parade which celebrates the 17th anniversary of Macao’s Handover to China. The parade takes the classic Chinese textClassic of Mountains and Sea.
- Macao Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon (Sunday, December 4), where local runners take on international challengers across three distances – 42km marathon, the half marathon and a mini marathon (about 5kms)
- Macau Shopping Festival (December 3-31), a bargain hunter’s delight there many stores of Macao – large and small – take part in an expanded shopping festival, complete with lucky draws and giveaways.
The aim of the film festival and awards – organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office – will be to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of Chinese-language, East Asian and international cinema in all its forms.
“In addition, the festival may include retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards raising awareness of the history of cinema,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the MGTO (Australia and New Zealand).
“This will be an exciting festival, not only for film lovers and the film industry, but for Macao which has played the major role as a movie set for many decades,” she said. “The most recent movie shot in Macao was ‘Now You See Me: The Second Act’ which starred Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Daniel Radcliffe, to name a few, and made it to the big screen earlier this year.”
One of the IFFAM Festival Ambassadors is leading Hong Kong director Johnnie To, who has been involved in the film production of over 100 films, movies “Eighth Happiness” and “Justice! My Foot!” being among his works.
The opening film will be Polina, a French/Russian film which focuses on a promising classic dancer who is about to join the prestigious Bolchoï Ballet only to discover contemporary dance. It stars Anastasia Shevtsova and Niels Schneider.
The festival – http://www.iffamacao.com/en/ – will be highlighted by a number of industry screenings, major awards and workshops.