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Show goes online for Chinese-American film, TV events
2020-11-12 
Donnie Yen promotes his film Ip Man 4 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in December 2019.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 16th Chinese American Film Festival and Chinese-American TV Festival was held online on Saturday.

Founded in 2005 by EDI Media Inc., the cultural event aims to promote film and television industry exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States, and to enhance the influence and visibility of China's outstanding film and television works in international markets.

The annual event is usually held in November in the US city of Los Angeles, but was forced to move online this year as the world battles the ongoing pandemic.

Donnie Yen won the CAFF Best Actor in a Leading Role Golden Award for his performance in Ip Man 4, the latest installment in the Ip Man franchise of Chinese martial arts films based on the life of a legendary Wing Chun master.

Sammi Cheng won the CAFF Best Actress in a Leading Role Golden Angel Award for her performance in thriller Fatal Visit, based on Candace Chong's acclaimed play Murder in San Jose.

Qin Hao and Charmaine Sheh won CATF Best Actor and Best Actress in a Leading Role for television series The Bad Kids and Winter Begonia, respectively.

Warner Bros' sci-fi action film Tenet took home the award for the Most Popular US Film in China this year. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie has so far grossed about 456 million yuan ($68.87 million) on the Chinese mainland for a worldwide cumulative total of $350.8 million.

The organizing committee of the CAFF and CATF is "persistent in promoting film and television exchanges between China and the United States against all difficulties and actively explored holding this event online" amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese Consul-General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said in a video speech.

The event "not only maintains the continuity of activities, but also opens up a new way for China-US film and television exchanges," and "has been increasingly influential, becoming an important platform for film and television exchanges "between the two countries, Zhang said.

A poster of the sci-fi action film Tenet, which was awarded the Most Popular US Film in China at the 16th Chinese-American Film Festival on Saturday.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"I watched this event begin in Los Angeles County and expand across the pacific over the years," said Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, adding that the event has provided unique opportunities to share artists' dreams and creativity.

"By engaging with new cultural experiences and people, participants gain a greater understanding of the arts and one another," Barger said.

"It's immensely regrettable that we are not able to be together in person for this year's ceremony," said Niels Swinkels, executive vice-president of International Distribution of Universal Pictures, noting that 2020 continues to be an incredibly challenging and disruptive year for filmmakers.

"But we are hugely encouraged by the recent signs of enthusiastic moviegoers around the world returning to their local cinemas to experience the magic of movies again," he added.

"It's an honor to be invited to participate in the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival. This event has been building bridges for Eastern and Western cultural exchanges and creating lasting friendships and relationships for many years," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President of International Helen Lee-Kim.

"I want to say thank you to everybody at the Chinese American Film Festival for this tremendous award," said Nolan in his remote acceptance speech after Tenet was announced as a winner.

"It's a great honor for us to receive this, and this is an opportunity for me to say thank you to not just the Chinese-American Film Festival, but also, to all of the fans and movie fans in China who came out to see this film," he said.

Nolan, one of the most popular and successful Hollywood directors, gained fame in China for his blockbusters, including The Dark Knight, Interstellar, Inception, and Dunkirk. Tenet has earned more in the Chinese market than in North America.

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