Roy-Dekel-SIFFThis past weekend marked the kick-off the the 18th Annual Shanghai International Film Festival. The 2015 showcase is slated to run from June 13th to June 21st. Films for exhibition include Leviafan, Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, Weekend, Once Upon a Time in America, and The Last Emperor.

The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) was established in 1993 and is currently the only International Federation of Film Producers Associations approved festival in China. The purpose of the festival is the highlight the rapidly growing Chinese film industry, while also presenting awards, panels, workshops, and markets aimed at garnering an even bigger international audience. As Chinese economy has grown, the Chinese film industry has been able to reach new heights. The SIFF is now a prosperous event for filmmakers and producers worldwide. In 2014, an astounding 447 mainstream media sources and 1,385 journalists reported on the SIFF, including local Chinese networks like the Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai Media Group, and CCTV. Foreign broadcasts like “The Wall Street Journal,” “The New York Times,” “Reuters,” and “Associated Press” were also in attendance.

The festival’s primary award is the Golden Goblet Award. Recipients are selected by a panel of highly qualified film industry professionals. Categories include: Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, and Outstanding Artistic Achievement. 2015 nominees represent 12 countries including Japan, Korea, France, USA, Iran, and of course, China. The Asian New Talent Award, celebrating emerging actors, screenwriters, and cinematographers based in the Asian continent has been revamped and is ready for the 2015 festival.

In addition to the films up for consideration, the SIFF has a running schedule of hot titles screenings including Gone Girl, The Wizard of Oz, Goodfellas, A Beautiful Mind, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

As the SIFF gains popularity, ticket sales and high profile celebrity appearances are expected to increase.