By Lu Huaiqian
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — The 2019 New Zealand Asia Pacific Film Festival kicked off on Friday’s evening in Auckland. It is the seventh Asia Pacific Film Festival, hosted by New Zealand Maori Tourism and NZ Asia Trust.
The opening ceremony started with traditional Maori dancing and the entire program includes congratulation speeches, film award-giving, and entertainment shows.
The New Actor Talent Award went to Yoson An, a 26-year-old New Zealand’s rising star, whose family (including three sisters) arrived in New Zealand from China when he was just seven. An played the love interest of Disney’s remake of Mulan, after he played a key role in the TV adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries.
Glen Katu, board member of New Zealand Maori Tourism said, “film and tourism have much in common. Both tell stories, carrying the power to teach, influence and inspire.”
Li Bo, chairman of the New Zealand Asia Pacific Film Festival and NZ Asia Trust, highlighted that “film art speaks a unique language that goes across all people, regardless of their national, cultural or social backgrounds.”
“Asia Pacific Film Festival is the platform that has allowed people from the film industry to show their works and achievement, it helps them lift the profile by the great media exposure,” Li added.
Jian Yang, New Zealand’s National Party MP, said, “I am appreciated the objective of the film festival to help New Zealanders to understand the Asian culture, society, politics and economic development, from art.”
“New Zealand is generally Maori culture society, and this festival has become a very important event on New Zealand’s multicultural calendar,” Yang added.
Labour Party MP Raymond Huo said, “We have more than 100 different ethnic groups living in Auckland. It is great to see today we have films not only from New Zealand, but also from China, Japan, South Korea and many other places.”
According to the organisers, approximately 500 audiences participated in the gala event. The selected films from China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand will be on show at Hoyts Cinemas on Auckland Sylvia Park in the next two days.
“Daffodils”, a New Zealand musical drama, won “The Best Music Film Award.”
From left to right: “Daffodils” film director David Stubbs, the film’s producer Richard Fletcher, and Li Bo, chairman of the New Zealand Asia Pacific Film Festival and NZ Asia Trust
Photo by Sun Xueliang