President Xi Jinping encouraged Chinese filmmakers to create even more stellar works in the new era in remarks read at the opening ceremony of the five day 28th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival on Tuesday in Xiamen, Fujian Province.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, conveyed President Xi’s words in his keynote speech at the ceremony, with the President praising the country’s filmmakers for having created many excellent films and classic characters over the past 70 years.

President Xi stressed that in the new era, Chinese filmmakers should strive to create stories revolving around people and endeavour to make excellent films the core of their work.

Huang said President Xi hopes Chinese film industry workers constantly enrich their knowledge and seek high-quality development of Chinese cinema.

Huang added that Chinese filmmakers should polish their storytelling skills, participate more actively in international competitions and enhance Chinese films’ presence on the global stage.

He also announced that the Golden Rooster Awards, which are presented every two years, will be awarded every year going forward.

As two of the most prestigious film awards in China, the Golden Rooster Awards and the Hundred Flower Awards have been offered in alternate years since 2005.

The festival this year will show 28 films from 29 countries, including positively reviewed works by new talent from nations involved in the Belt & Road Initiative and films directed by cinematic masters who previously won awards in Europe.

In addition, the event has drawn 35 new domestic films to exhibit at the event, and will have a section that highlights films shot by young talent from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

A total of 277 films, including 103 drama features, 25 children’s films, 13 animated works and 28 documentaries, have been submitted to contend for 19 Golden Rooster Awards, such as best picture and best director awards. The Opening Ceremony was held in Banlam Grand Theater, drawing a number of A list Stars & Industry Insiders.