The Chinese American Film Festival (CAFF) and the Chinese American Television Festival (CATF), two of the most anticipated cultural events bridging China and the United States, commenced with vibrant celebrations in Los Angeles. These festivals represent a significant cultural milestone, reinforcing the tight-knit exchange between the two powerhouse film markets.
Yang Guorui, China’s National Radio and Television Administration’s deputy director, conveyed through a video message at the opening ceremony the festivals’ 19-year history as a beacon of Sino-American exchange and cooperation in the audiovisual sector.
Under the theme “Better Films, Better World,” the festivals attracted over 500 film and television works contending for the esteemed Golden Angel Award. According to James Su, chairman of the CAFF and the CATF, the selection embodies a collective aspiration for global peace, harmony, and love.
The award ceremony was a highlight of the festivities, with the science fiction spectacle “The Wandering Earth II” receiving the accolade for Best Film. “Meg 2: The Trench” was recognized for Best China and US Cooperation Film. The spotlight also shone on U.S. blockbusters such as “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, which were among the titles celebrated as the Most Popular US Films in China.
On the television front, “The Knockout” clinched the title of Best TV Series. Directors Guo Fan and Xu Jizhou were honored for their exemplary direction in “The Wandering Earth II” and “The Knockout,” respectively.
The festivals also cast a spotlight on remarkable Chinese film and television productions, with works like “Manifesto” and “30,000 Miles from Chang’an” securing their place in the top 10 as recipients of the Golden Angel Award.
Further deepening the cultural impact, the China Culture Communication Award recognized eleven works, including “Path Finders” and “About the Clouds,” highlighting their role in fostering cultural dialogue and the international presence of Chinese narratives.
Throughout the screening week, over ten Chinese films will be featured, marking a significant post-pandemic return to in-person dialogues among key industry figures and scholars from both nations.
The festivals have been noted for adopting a more pragmatic and forward-looking approach, evidenced by the Los Angeles County Government’s eighth consecutive proclamation of November as “Chinese American Film Festival, TV Festival Month,” reflecting active support from U.S. officials.
Adding a new dimension to this year’s festivities is the introduction of an “investment and innovation unit” aimed at propelling forward-thinking film projects from both countries that boast artistic merit and market viability.
In keeping with the spirit of exchange and progression, a new TV program will premiere on Los Angeles-based ICITI TV, showcasing the ancient allure and tourism appeal of China’s Guizhou Province.
As cultural and artistic exchanges continue to flourish, with initiatives like Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent visit to China, there are positive indications of a warming trend in the cultural dynamics between China and the U.S. This year’s CAFF and CATF serve not just as platforms for showcasing film and TV but also as vital contributors to the narrative of international understanding and collaboration.