SHANGHAI, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai rolled out red carpet Saturday evening for the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), an international event attended by hundreds of celebrities and specialists from the global film industry.
At the opening ceremony at Shanghai Grand Theatre, British actor Ian McKellen and Chinese actor Jiao Huang recited the verses by William Shakespeare to salute the great playwright.
Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is to chair the jury panel for the Golden Goblet Awards. Italian director Daniele Luchetti, Chinese novelist Yan Geling and young director Pema Tseden are among the jury members.
The 14 shortlisted films include Mr. Church by Australian director Bruce Beresford, Salt and Fire by German filmmaker Werner Herzog, Forest, 4 AM by Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski, as well as Cock and Bull by Chinese director Cao Baoping.
More than 500 films are to be screened during the nine-day event, including the Harry Potter series and James Bond films.
China's first virtual reality movie show will be staged during this year's film festival.
Since it was initiated in 1993, the SIFF has been an A-category international film festival and one of the largest film festivals in East Asia.
China's film market has grown well in recent years with box office sales reaching 44 billion yuan (6.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, up 48.7 percent from 2014. Annual box office receipts could surpass North America as soon as 2017. Enditem