Li Bingbing, Jury for Goldern Goblet Award, at the red carpet ceremony. [Photo: Mtime.com]
Li Bingbing, well-known as a "model worker" among entertainment celebrities, is one of those major Chinese actresses also enjoying Hollywood success. As soon as she finished dubbing for Resident Evil V, she flew from Canada to Shanghai without rest to judge the Gold Goblet Awards. To the busy actress, seeing three films a day for a week is equal to a relaxing vacation. She told reporter from Daily News yesterday of her feelings about being a judge for the first time. She said the 15-year-old SIFF and the municipal culture of Shanghai have come together as one, where people across the city celebrate and enjoy the film feast at the same time every year, like the Cannes Film Festival to the Franch.
First time as a judge: much relieved and open-hearted
Daily News: A number of your films have been judged for awards in several film festivals. Do you have a different perspective now you are a judge?
Li Bingbing:Yes, I have never understood more about the dilemma judges face in choosing the best from excellent nominations and the feelings of candidates. But I felt very relieved and open-hearted after being a judge. I felt more responsible than being merely an actress, having to make fair decisions and pay tribute to directors, screenwriters and actors, the effort they exerted and works they produced.
Daily News: What criteria do you use in judging so many good films, some relatively hard to understand and less popular?
Li Bingbing:I used to pay more attention to the performance of actors in the first place, since I am an actress, too. Now as a judge, I force myself to evaluate the film from a more comprehensive perspective. As director Jean-Jacques Annaud said, follow your heart when making judgment. The best film is the one with the story, performances and music that touch my heart.
Daily News: What do you think of the famous director Jean-Jacques after working with him this time?
Li Bingbing: He treats life as a film and vice versa. When shooting The Lover, he stayed in Vietnam for one year. He said he is going to stay in Beijing for a couple of weeks after the film festival because he is interested in China very much and keen on experiencing native culture and life style like a local citizen.
Daily News: It must be demanding to be a judge seeing so many films a day.
Li Bingbing:Seeing three films every day is actually a good break for me. It is very interesting that judges have rather differentiated opinions. The group of judges is an "allied troupe", with people from different countries and cultural backgrounds arguing with each other from disparate points of view about the same movie.
Daily News: Since you have been here several times, what do you think of the SIFF?
Li Bingbing: I think SIFF has interacted with local citizens and wrapped the city in a mellow film culture. It is the same with the Cannes Film Festival, people getting excited about the festival and vacating their houses to accommodate film goers from all over the world when the season starts. When June comes, Shanghai goes on a spree of seeing films every day.
About Resident Evil V: not trying hard for a Hollywood career
Daily News: Could you tell us something about the Hollywood blockbuster Resident Evil V in which you star?
Li Bingbing: I just finished the dubbing in Canada and added another act scene. It is expected to be released in September.