The Shanghai International Film Festival is set to get a whole lot better next year with the permanent addition of the Jackie Chan International Action Film Week. The event is said to include showings of action films from across the globe, forums on the making of action movies, and an online public voting system to commemorate the showcased films. Jackie made the announcement at the 17th Annual Shanghai International Film Festival, which included a surprise visit from Jean-Claude Van Damme, and spoke of his aspirations for the additional of the event in the following statement:
I have always had a dream, to facilitate the creation of an international award for action filmmakers who work behind the scenes, so that the whole world to see the efforts and hardships of action filmmakers. Martial arts actors in order to complete a particular stunt, often risk permanent disability, and sometimes even their lives. They deserve to be recognized and remembered. China has one of the greatest resources of martial arts expertise and the world knows that China has made tremendous contributions to martial arts action films. We should have a platform for action movies so that through exchanges with the world action community Chinese action films can continue to flourish.”
It’s great to see someone of Jackie’s prestige and worldwide notoriety helping to create an awards ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of action actors, stunt performers, and fight and stunt coordinators on-screen, and he’s hardly alone wanting to pay them such recognition. petitions and calls for recognition for action filmmakers abound online and in the entertainment industry, with calls for them to receive an Oscar category supported by the likes of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jason Statham, who was nearly killed in a stunt gone wrong during the making of “The Expendables 3”, similarly called for such recognition for stunt performers earlier this year.
Maybe having the backing of Jackie Chan is exactly what stunt performers and action actors need to receive the recognition they deserve. And it’s not like Jackie doesn’t speak from experience – not too many people are likely to be able to give a first hand description of what it feels like to have your pelvis dislocated, as he experienced while making Police Story.
For more information about the Shanghai International film Festival, and it’s addition of the Jackie Chan International Film Week, visit the festival’s Official Website.