Marianas Variety

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    Monday, December 18, 2017-9:58:54A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Saipan hosts first Marianas International Film Festival

FIFTEEN films from four countries and the CNMI, are participating in the first Marianas International Film Festival which started on Dec. 6 and will end today, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.

Imperial Pacific International and the Marianas Visitors Authority sponsored the event which started with a welcome dinner party for the participating filmmakers, film producers and actors at Aqua Resort Club.

In an interview, IPI chairman Mark Brown said they plan to sponsor the film festival every year.

Click to enlarge
From left, Natsu Concepcion, Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Chris Concepcion, first lady Diann Torres, Kimberly Kates, and special assistant for administration Shirley Ogumoro.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

The festival, he added, will highlight “Hollywood stars and other celebrities, all fun and beautiful people.”

MVA Managing Director Chris Concepcion said the film festival will help promote the Marianas as an attractive tourist destination.

“We are very excited to have the festival here and we congratulate the participants,” he added.

On Thursday, the 15 participating films were screened at Regal Cinema from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Today, Friday, Imperial Palace Saipan will be the venue of the red carpet and awards ceremony.

Concepcion said the festival has a local film category. “There will be special recognition or special awards for our local filmmakers who submitted their work.”

First lady Diann Torres said the festival “will definitely attract not only tourists from China, but also from Japan, Korean and everywhere else.”

The film entries:

China

• Six Years, Six Days

• The Final Redemption

• Sunshine That Can Move Mountains

• Country Far Away

• Relocate

• Doctor’s Mind

Korea

• Taxi Driver

• Canola

• Old Bicycle

• The Prison

• Mr. Christmas Mr. Mo

U.K.

• This Beautiful Fantastic

Taiwan

• 3904 Feet

CNMI

• We Drank Our Tears: Francisco Babauta’s Story

• Oral Cancer Documentary: Chew

Concepcion said MVA will “monitor the after-effect of this film festival and jump on any other opportunity we can get to promote the CNMI outside our three main tourism markets — China, Korea and Japan.”

Mrs. Torres said the film festival participants will not only see the natural beauty of the islands, but also the “hospitality of the people.”

“Hopefully,” Concepcion said, “the festival will get bigger and better in the succeeding years.”

As sponsor, he said MVA’s role is to provide support and invite international media to cover the event so the Marianas will get “lots of exposure.”

He said the guests like the island. “Everybody thinks the destination is beautiful and the hotels are nice, but the only issue that we have is hotel room availability. It was a struggle to find hotel rooms. The hotels are full.”

The film festival’s primary organizer is Shenzhen Golden Rose Pictures Corp., a Chinese film production and distribution company.

Concepcion said most of the festival participants are film industry executives and celebrities.

“So having them here in the CNMI is very important to the destination. It elevates our profile because these are high profile people so we are happy to have them here.”