Pingyao International Film Festival 2024

China’s Pingyao International Film Festival Moves Dates To September

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Pingyao International Film Festival (PYIFF), co-founded by Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pingyao Ancient City, is moving its dates this year from its usual October timing to a late September slot. 

The festival will take place September 24-30, ahead of Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, which is scheduled for October 2-11. 

Co-founded by Jia and festival veteran Marco Mueller in 2017, PYIFF was launched with a mission to bring new talent and a wide range of international cinema to Chinese audiences, as well as support Chinese independent filmmakers. The festival has a projects market for Chinese-language filmmakers, Pingyao Project Promotion, and runs workshops and other activities for students and emerging talent.

Mueller left the festival after last year’s edition and headed the Asia-Europe Festival Of Young Cinema in Macau in December 2023. He was recently appointed artistic director of Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, Italy. 

PYIFF is held at Festival Palace, a purpose-built centre with screening rooms, an outdoor theatre, event spaces and restaurants within the walls of Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi province, close to Jia’s home town of Fenyang.

The festival is accepting submissions through its website with a deadline of July 15. It has four main sections: the Crouching Tigers for debut, second and third films from international directors; the Hidden Dragons for debut, second and third Chinese-language films; Galas of important works of the year or awarded films from major film festivals; and Made-in-Shanxi for local or Shanxi-related productions.

Award winners at last year’s edition of the festival included Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Thien An’s Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell, French director Marie Amachoukeli’s Ama Gloria and Mongolia’s City Of Wind in the Roberto Rossellini Awards for international features, and Only The River Flows and A Song Sung Blue in the Fei Mu Awards for Chinese features.