Michael Douglas, Juliette Binoche Headline Fourth Annual Meihodo Film Festival
Supporting young filmmakers, the Hollywood icons will appear in an awards ceremony streaming February 22 on YouTube, as part of the first global film fest to award winners with NFTs and cryptocurrency.
Academy Award winners Michael Douglas and Juliette Binoche will be participating in this year’s Fourth Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival, one of the largest short film festivals in the world and the premier platform for young visual artists.
Douglas, whose legendary career spans 50 years, is this year’s Guest of Honor and Advisor, while Binoche, who has starred in more than 60 feature films, is serving as this year’s Honorary Chairperson of the Jury. Both stars will be participating in the festival’s virtual awards ceremony, which is organized through Japan-based Meihodo’s U.S. headquarters in New York City and will stream on YouTube for U.S. audiences on Tuesday, February 22, at 3 p.m. EST.
The ceremony will mark the first time a global film festival has awarded winners with NFTs and cryptocurrency, with the total prize money exceeding $100,000 in Bitcoin. Top winners will receive NFT trophies signed by Douglas and Binoche.
“This year, as we celebrate the next generation of film artists, and employ new awards features like NFTs and crypto, we’re incredibly honored to be joined by Michael Douglas and Juliette Binoche,” said James Zhang, Vice Chairman of Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival. “We’re focusing on possibility and imagination. These actors have always done that in their careers, and they have boundless wisdom to share with the cinema stars of tomorrow.”
The theme of this year’s festival is “Dreaming Big in the Digital Revolution,” exploring innovation and what’s next for the film medium as new technology, like the metaverse, influences young creators.
“I’m looking forward to all the films you can make about these big questions and futuristic perceptions and ways of living,” said Binoche, who last year starred in the critically acclaimed films “Fire” and “Between Two Worlds,” and is perhaps best known for “The English Patient,” for which she won an Oscar. “It would be great to see films that explore how we reconnect with ourselves and each other, and how we relearn to trust and not fear each other.”
In her role as Honorary Chairperson of the Jury, Binoche will guide the Meihodo jury in their selection process, sharing her decades of wisdom from working in international and independent film. During the virtual ceremony, she’ll be on hand to welcome young finalists and offer inspiration and insight from her work in the industry.
Douglas, whose classic turn as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” won him a Best Actor Oscar, is a fitting choice to headline Meihodo’s first ceremony hosted by its New York headquarters. Part of a family of showbiz royalty, Douglas famously produced “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at age 29 (for which he also won an Oscar), and today stars in everything from Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” to Marvel’s blockbuster “Ant-Man” franchise.
As Guest of Honor, Douglas will also offer inspiring insights to young filmmakers, and he will announce the Grand Prize winner, who’ll receive $20,000 in Bitcoin.
“I’ve had the good fortune to work in the film business for decades, and I’m both humbled and excited to connect with young filmmakers at the Fourth Annual Meihodo Festival,” Douglas said. “From a young age, thanks to my father, I’ve had a front-row seat to watching films be made and it’s a pleasure to not only share some of that wisdom but also learn from a new wave of artists.”
In addition to Douglas and Binoche, the Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival is welcoming back other notable figures from film and entertainment, including Special Advisor Tan Dun, the Academy Award-winning composer for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and Dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music; and Honorary Chairwoman Yue-Sai Kan, the Emmy-winning television producer and renowned entrepreneur.
This year’s festival will be newly divided into three categories: Drama / Feature; Documentary and Music Video, the latter of which will be judged by Tan Dun. In addition to the Grand Prize winner, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be awarded in each category. Winners will have the option to choose cryptocurrency or traditional currency.
In the past four years, Meihodo has become one of the largest short film festivals in the world, with previous Guests of Honor including Academy Award winner Yōjirō Takita, a Japanese filmmaker who received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for his 2008 drama “Departures.” This year, 2,431 entries were received from 110 countries. All of this year’s winners will be available to view on Meihodo’s YouTube channel and Meihodo’s website following the February 22 ceremony.