Danish filmmaker Bille August to Chair Beijing Film Festival Competition Jury

More of the Beijing International Film Festival’s schedule has been released, less than a month before it opens.

Danish filmmaker Bille August will head the competition jury of the 7th Beijing International Film Festival, set to run April 16-23 in the Chinese capital.

The Oscar-winning director has forged close ties with the Chinese film industry in recent years, opening a studio in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and serving as a “culture consultant” for the city.

Fifteen films will be in contention at the festival, but a full list is yet to be revealed. The festival will feature close to 500 films screened at 30 cinemas across the city during the 16-day event.

A special retrospective of August’s work will also be screened at the festival, as well as retrospectives of the work of auteur David Lynch, award-winning actress-director-screenwriter Sylvia Chang, and the late Italian cinema great Michelangelo Antonioni.

Seven of David Lynch’s films will be screened, including Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, The Straight Story, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire, and Lost Highway. The documentary, David Lynch: The Art Life by directors Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm will also be shown.

Works by the Italian master Michelangelo Antonioni screened at the festival are set to include Red Desert, Blow-Up, L’Avventura, La Notte, L’Eclisse, and Beyond the Clouds.

Also showing: Paul Verhoeven’s psychological thriller Elle, Mike Mills’ coming-of-age drama 20th Century Women, François Ozon’s Frantz, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson as well as The Unknown Girl by brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Berlinale’s Golden Bear winner On Body and Soul by Ildikó Enyedi’s will also screen at the festival, as will Silver Bear (for best director) winner, the Finnish comedy-drama The Other Side of Hope by Aki Kaurismäki.

Classic movies to be screened include Italian epic period drama film The Leopard (1963), Gone with the Wind (1939), and Doctor Zhivago (1965). Films by legendary French filmmaker-actor Jacques Tati, and one of Russia’s best-loved Soviet-era film directors, Eldar Ryazanov, will also be shown. Classic Chinese films such as Miserable at Middle Age (哀乐中年), Spring in a Small Town (小城之春), Song of China (天伦), and Legend of the Mountain (山中传奇), will also be shown.

As reported earlier, all of the previous installments in both The Fast and The Furious and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises will screen in the out of competition section.

There will also be a special “One Belt, One Road” section for films from countries Beijing hopes to involve in its much-vaunted trade outreach initiative, which seeks to revive business along ancient Silk Road trade routes. Two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica’s On the Milky Road will headline that section.

Films will start screening on April 8, a week before the festival proper begins.