International Competition Jury - President
Peter Chan Ho-sun
Peter Chan Ho-sun (Hong Kong SAR)
Peter Ho-Sun Chan is a Chinese film director, producer and screenwriter. Regarded as one of the most accomplished and successful Hong Kong filmmakers in recent history, Chan has directed 18 films, including the critically acclaimedComrades, Almost a Love Story (1996), Perhaps Love (2005), The Warlords (2007), American Dreams in China(2013) and Dearest (2014).
Born in Hong Kong, Chan is the son of Hong Kong film director turned newspaper columnist Chan Tung Man and mother Lam Man Ying. He spent his childhood years in the Tsim Sha Tsui section of Hong Kong, his teen years in Bangkok, Thailand, and studied film in Los Angeles during the early 1980s.
After working on several films as assistant director, Chan made his directorial debut with the award-winning Alan and Eric: Between Hello and Goodbye in 1991. Chan followed Alan and Eric with a string of popular box office successes, including He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father (1993), Tom, Dick and Hairy (1993), and He’s a Woman, She’s a Man(1994).
In 1996, Chan received international acclaim for Comrades, Almost a Love Story), a film about two mainland Chinese immigrants who fall in love and drift apart in pre-handover Hong Kong. The film swept the 16th annual Hong Kong Film Awards, winning an unprecedented nine awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for Maggie Cheung.
In 1999, Chan directed his first US production in coordination with DreamWorks SKG, 1999’s The Love Letter starring Kate Capshaw, Tom Selleck and Ellen DeGeneres.
In 2000, Chan established Applause Pictures, a company dedicated to producing high quality Pan-Asian films intended primarily for Asian audiences. Films produced by Applause Pictures include Jan Dara (2001), One Fine Spring Day(2001), The Eye series (2002, 2004, 2005), Three (2002), and Three…Extremes (2004).
In 2005 he directed Perhaps Love, a musical love story set in Shanghai and Beijing starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jacky Cheung and Zhou Xun. The film closed the 62nd Venice Film Festival, and was Hong Kong’s official entry for the 2006 Academy Awards.
After Perhaps Love came the historical war epic The Warlords (2007), starring Jet Li, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau. The gritty tale of brotherhood and betrayal set during the Taiping Rebellion in 1860s China garnered eight Hong Kong Film awards and three Golden Horse awards.
Chan’s recent films are stories of hope, friendship and matters of the human heart, themes characteristic of his early work: American Dreams in China (2013) and Dearest (2014), based on the true story of a divorced Chinese couple dealing with the abduction of their son.
Chan’s more recent film projects include producing Iwai Shunji’s first Chinese language title Last Letter in 2018, and directing Li Na, a biographical drama of the first Asian tennis player to win a Grand Slam title.
International Competition Jury
Tom Cullen (UK)
Born in Wales, Tom Cullen is a versatile, multi-awarded actor who has just made his directorial debut with a film he also wrote, Pink Wall. A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, he burst into public consciousness back in 2011 with a lead role in the breakthrough drama Weekend, directed by Andrew Haigh. Cullen has worked consistently across film and television ever since — from the role of Lord Gillingham in series 4 and 5 of Downton Abbey, to the more recent Knightfall. ‘Pink Wall’, which co-stars Jay Duplass and Tatiana Maslany, premiered at this year’s South by Southwest film festival; Screen International hailed it as “a deeply felt, acutely observed feature.”
Ellen Eliasoph (US)
Ellen R. Eliasoph is a veteran film executive and producer who has spent the last 25 years building bridges between China’s film industry, Hollywood and the global film market. Eliasoph became the first Hollywood executive to be based in China when she established Warner Bros.’ Beijing office in 1993. She imported The Fugitive to China as the first Hollywood revenue-sharing film. During her long tenure as Managing Director, Warner Bros Pictures China, she arranged and managed the China releases of the Matrix and Harry Potter series and other blockbusters, and served as the studio production executive on its Chinese films and co-productions, including Johnnie To’s Turn Left, Turn Right; The Painted Veil, which starred Edward Norton and Naomi Watts; Ning Hao’s Crazy Stone and Crazy Racer, and Benny Chan’s Connected.
From 2011, Eliasoph served as CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and over the subsequent six years led the company’s participation in the production of nine films, including Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West, Leste Chen’s Say Yes! and the award-winning Mountain Cry. In 2017, she organized the formation of Perfect Village Entertainment, a pioneering Sino-foreign joint venture film studio, leading the company in its business of developing, financing and producing feature films. She served as lead producer on Zhang Yimou’s Shadow (2018), which garnered numerous international awards and nominations. 2019 releases to date have included Send Me to the Clouds, an award-winning contemporary drama, and Hong Kong suspense thriller Guilt by Design, starring Nick Cheung and Han Zhang. Perfect Village’s Australia-China co-production The Whistleblower, directed by leading female director Xue Xiaolu and starring Tang Wei and Lei Jiayin, will release in late 2019.
Dian Sastrowardoyo (Indonesia)
Born and raised in Jakarta,Indonesia, Dian Sastrowardoyo is an actress and producer, who began her acting career in 1999 in the film Shooting Star directed by Rudy Soedjarwo. Since then, she has appeared in more than a dozen films and won numerous awards including best actress at the Deauville Asian and Singapore film festivals in 2002 for Nan Achnas’ Whispering Sands, and the most promising actress at the Asia Pacific Film Festival in 2005 for Ungu Violet. Her most recent films are Edwin’s Aruna And Her Palate – which played at IFFAM 2018 – Timo Tjahjanto’s The Night Comes For Us and the upcoming Guru-Guri Gokil in which she starred as well as producing In addition to her career, she founded Dian Sastrowardoyo Foundation in 2009 which focuses on the areas of education, female empowerment and Indonesian culture and heritage. Since it was founded, it has given full scholarships to 19 women from underprivileged background to pursue higher education.
Midi Z (Myanmar)
Born in Myanmar, Midi Z moved to Taiwan at the age of sixteen.
His graduation film, Paloma Blanca, was invited to several international film festivals in 2006 including Busan and Gothenburg.
In 2011, Return to Burma, his debut feature, was selected for Busan New Currents and Rotterdam Tiger competition.
In 2014, Ice Poison won Best International Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
In 2016, The Road to Mandalay, won Best Feature Film FEDEORA Award at the Venice Film Festival.
In addition, Midi has made three documentaries. They are Jade Miners (2015), which premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, City of Jade, which world premiered at the 2016 Berlinale and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards as well as the Taipei Golden Horse Awards, and 14 Apples, which was screened at the 2018 Berlinale.
His latest film Nina Wu premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.