Beijing, 23 April 2013 – IWC Schaffhausen is renowned not only for its luxury watches, but also for its long-standing passion for the world of film-making. As new sponsor of the third International Film Festival in Beijing (BJIFF), the Swiss watch manufacturer hosted an exclusive “For the Love of Cinema” gala event for some 200 VIP guests and celebrities from around the world. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the IWC Filmmaker Award, which was received by Zhang Yimou, the famous and internationally celebrated Chinese film director.
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“It’s a great honour for us to support the up-and-coming Beijing International Film Festival,” said IWC CEO Georges Kern. “This festival brings together national and international representatives from the film industry and offers them a professional and innovative exchange platform. Our role as sponsor enables us to underline both our passion for the world of film-making and the significance of the Chinese market for our brand. We are delighted to be here in the capital.” IWC Schaffhausen has a long-standing relationship with Hollywood stars such as Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett, Jean Reno and Marc Forster, as well as Chinese actors including Francis Ng, Julian Cheung and Anita Yuen, and has already realised numerous unique film, theatre and photography projects with many of these Friends of the Brand. Aside from this, watches from IWC have been preferred accoutrements in countless movies. These timepieces made in Schaffhausen were worn by actors with leading roles in the thriller “Wall Street”, in the major box-office success “Ocean’s 13” and in the action comedy “RED”. They have also been favourites with some of the protagonists in the American TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Private Practice” and “Gossip Girl”.
A wide range of famous personalities put in an appearance at the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” dinner held on the historic Ming Dynasty city wall in Beijing. The actors Francis Ng, Yu Nan, Julian Cheung, Anita Yuen, Joseph Chang, Li Zonghan, Andrew Lien and Xiong Naijin, as well as the directors Zhang Yimou, Chris Wedge, Chris Brown, Li Shaohong and Xue Xiaolu, together with other local and
global film-makers, made their way across the red carpet before Benoit De Clerck, IWC’s Managing Director Asia Pacific, opened the evening. “We are delighted to be promoting this important platform via our commitment as a sponsor of the Beijing International Film Festival. Furthermore, we are pleased to have gained the support of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) for tonight’s event. Both
the BJIFF and MPA bring together resources from film-making at home and abroad. They also foster interchange and trade in the global film industry. Films are a cultural force. They open up windows to unknown worlds and allow us to share in both truth and fiction. Films have the power to move us emotionally, they inspire us, they open our eyes and they definitely don’t leave us indifferent.”
And the winner is …
The highlight of the exclusive dinner was the presentation of the IWC Filmmaker Award. With a view to honouring exceptional personalities in the film industry who have displayed outstanding achievement, the watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen presents this prestigious award at major festivals in Cannes, Tribeca, Dubai and now also Beijing. The internationally celebrated Chinese movie director Zhang Yimou accepted the IWC Filmmaker Award in honour of his work from Benoit De Clerck and Karoline Huber, IWC’s Director of Marketing & Communications, to loud applause. “Zhang Yimou doubtlessly belongs to the greatest film-makers of our time, and he has won numerous awards and gained recognition at many national and international film festivals. It is an enormous pleasure for us to present him with this award,” said Karoline Huber, explaining the choice. Zhang Yimou was also handed a watch from IWC: the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic (Ref. 3904) in stainless steel, with a special engraving on the reverse. “Watchmaking and the world of film have a great deal in common,” said Karoline Huber. “They both are steeped in tradition, are driven by a technical pioneering spirit and create new masterpieces with profound knowledge.”
Exclusive concert by Aloe Blacc
The musical high spot of the IWC gala evening came from charismatic singer Aloe Blacc, who rocketed to world fame with his song “I Need a Dollar”. Blacc staged a private concert especially to complement the “For the Love of Cinema” event. The soul musician proved that he is not only a fantastic singer, but also a talented entertainer. DJ Miles Slater then took over the musical baton and kept guests in party mood until late.