15 April 2014 10:09 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Beijing Intl. Film Festival organizers have given this year’s event a stronger international flavor and more high-tech elements, moves that reflect the Chinese industry’s desire to go global. Festival runs April 16-23.

One big change? This fourth edition features an opening-night screening — something that is standard at other festivals, but which the first three Beijing fests dispensed with, in favor of a pomp and circumstance show befitting the city’s status in the emerging world order and its powerhouse backers, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Beijing city government.

“The norm for major international film festivals around the world is for the opening film to enjoy a good reputation and respect within the industry. To reflect the international … and market-oriented nature of Bjiff, the organizing committee decided on ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ” a festival spokesman says. The Franco-German romantic fantasy by Asiaphile French director »

- Shirley Lau

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