Juliette Binoche Hosting and Miyazaki Tribute at 2020 Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival Image

The Third Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival will take place virtually this year, with an awards ceremony streaming live on YouTube for U.S. audiences on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 3 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, international icon and the event’s Special Advisor and Guest of Honor, Juliette Binoche (Clouds of Sils MariaThe English Patient, Chocolat), will show her support of young filmmakers and short films. Also, 18 filmmakers will be awarded prizes totaling over $50,000.

“Short film is the future, favored by young people and proven by the growing popularity of TikTok,” said James Zhang, Vice Chairman of Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival, the premier platform for young visual artists around the world. “We’re thrilled to honor Juliette Binoche, one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated actresses of our time,” added Zhang. “She’s inspiring to all filmmakers, especially international youth who participate in our festival.”

Binoche will deliver the awards ceremony’s introductory greeting and give an interview from the set of her latest movie, Claire Denis’ Radioscopie, discussing the importance of cultural diversity in filmmaking as it relates to her career.

“My desire to work in different countries and with different directors has always been driven by that need of uniting,” Binoche said about how cinema can help bridge the world’s differences by sharing different cultures. “I think this festival symbolizes that sharing, and that need to listen to each other.”

Other notable figures from film, entertainment, and the arts involved in this year’s festival, include:

  • Special Advisor Tan Dun, the Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning composer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music;
  • Honorary Chairwoman Yue-Sai Kan, an Emmy-winning television producer who People magazine called “the most famous woman of China;”
  • Honorary Chairwoman of the Jury Chen Man, an internationally renowned photographer who has shot for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Guest of Honor Yong Mei, a Chinese actress who won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for “So Long, My Son.”

The awards ceremony on YouTube will also feature a special musical tribute to Hayao Miyazaki, the renowned Japanese animated filmmaker (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle). He will be honored with a song by Azumi Inoue, his favorite singer who has contributed to many of his projects. Miyazaki’s song “I Will Be On Your Side As Always” will be performed by Inoue to bring joy, courage, and warmth to viewers worldwide during this difficult time.

In just three years, Meihodo has become one of the largest short film festivals in the world, with previous Guests of Honor including Yōjirō Takita, a Japanese filmmaker and national treasure, who received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language for his 2008 drama Departures. This year, more than 2,300 entries were received from a record-breaking 102 countries, including 60 entries from U.S students at schools like NYU and Harvard. The theme of this year’s festival, “We Are All In This Together–Unforgettable Moments of 2020,” reflects the challenges felt worldwide due to the pandemic.

In early December, 124 finalists in the four categories of drama, documentary, photography, and short-form were selected by the festival judging committee, with top awards of gold, silver, and bronze in each section to be announced during the January 7 virtual ceremony. The finalists are currently available to watch on Meihodo’s YouTube channel and Meihodo’s website. The festival’s photography finalists will be on display through the end of 2021 at KISS (Kyushu International Short-Film Square), Japan’s largest short film studio, located in Fukuoka. It is also the hosting venue for this year’s festival.

In addition to YouTube, the Third Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival will also be screening on Tencent Video, the Chinese media giant that is co-presenting the festival, and will allow users worldwide to view the ceremony and connect through art.

Header Photo: Juliette Binoche (photography: ©Jorge Fuembuena)

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