BEIJING - Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson will serve as president of a seven-member jury for this year's Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), the festival's general manager said on Thursday.
Levinson, a 69-year-old American director, writer and producer, won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Director for his comedy-drama "Rain Man," which starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. His other noted works include "Good Morning Vietnam" (1987), "Bugsy" (1991) and "Sleepers" (1996).
Other jury members will include UK screenwriter Christopher Hampton, Japanese director Yoichi Sai, Vietnam-born French director Tran Anh Hung, Spanish actress Paz Vega, Chinese director Wang Quan'an and Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu.
As of April 15, a total of 1,519 films from 102 countries and regions will vie for the festival's top prize, the Golden Goblet, SIFF general manager Tang Lijun said at a press conference on Thursday. Tang added that the number of candidates has "increased greatly" in comparison to previous festivals.
According to a statement published on the SIFF's official website, the first batch of films selected for the competition includes films from Argentina, Italy, Japan, Germany, Turkey and Russia.
One of the competitors is the feature film "There Be Dragons" by British director Roland Joffe, a Palme d'Or award-winner for his 1986 film "The Mission."
The festival, which has been held annually since 1993, will run from June 11 to 19 this year.