Mike Goodridge will act as the Artistic Director of the 2nd International Film Festival and Awards Macao (IFFAM), as announced during the Kick-Off Ceremony held by the festival’s Organizing Committee last Friday at Macau Tower.
Drawing on nearly 30 years of experience in the film industry, and having held various positions over the years as a journalist, film critic, moderator, host, producer, and financier, Mr. Goodridge will be in charge of managing the MOP55 million-budget allocated for the festival, which will be held from 8 to 14 December 2017.
Although this year’s budget cap was the same as last year’s, according to information provided by the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and acting President of IFFAM Organizing Committee, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the second edition of the festival will harness business opportunities more overtly.
In addition to Mr. Goodridge’s various roles in the movie industry, the invited Artistic Director is the CEO of London-based Protagonist Pictures, a company engaged in film selling, financing, and production.
Speaking to Business Daily about the ways in which he thinks his experience may contribute to this year’s festival, Mr. Goodridge stressed the value of developing business partnerships.
“It would be great to get the Western industry here to meet with the Asian industry, and see what opportunities there are. The great thing about Macau is that it is a very informal place. People can meet here without that sense of formality and they can really get to know each other in a kind of informal setting,” he said.
In addition to inviting “a lot of filmmakers,” Mr. Goodridge said he also plans to invite “a lot of industry as well,” believing that they “can create partnerships between East and West that are going to be really interesting.”
The list of “artful but accessible” films the Artistic Director expects to select with his team, to be shown during the festival, will come after they do the “full festival rounds,” which will include visits to festivals such as that of Shanghai, Venice, and Toronto.
“Small but exciting”
Questioned about the impact the festival would have on the local, incipient film industry, Mr. Goodridge noted: “the festival’s role is to spotlight the local efforts and to encourage, and to develop, and to help.”
“There is a burgeoning film industry in Macau. It is a small city, but more and more foreign films are shooting here, there are Macanese filmmakers that will be encouraged to develop their craft. Festivals are very good at doing that if they are well organized,” he points out.
Overall, Mr. Goodridge struck an optimistic note for this year’s edition.
“I think that we can create a programme, an industry programme that is going to be really valuable, especially because it is a gateway to China.”
Ms. Senna Fernandes further expects to bring another component of the industry to Macau, based on opportunities for the exchange of experiences between the local and international industry.
“We know that in Shenzhen and in Guangzhou there are academies hosting movie faculties or film courses, and we think there is a possibility to attract these people to Macau during [the festival],” she said on the sidelines of the ceremony.
The director of the tourism bureau added that other initiatives in this regard will include master-classes – emulating last year’s programme – although the “line-up of speakers” is not yet final.
The IFFAM Organizing Committee also plans to introduce a new feature at the 2017 edition of the festival, notes Ms. Senna Fernandes, which will seek to combine “some gastronomic elements with films,” following the recent submission of Macau’s application as city of gastronomy to UNESCO last week.
The President of the IFFAM Organizing Committee and MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, explained that the budget of MOP55 million attributed to the festival will be backed through MOP20 million from the Macau SAR Government and MOP35 million from the Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA), spearheaded by Alvin Chau, the CEO of Suncity Group.