Familiar faces in Venice a boost to China's films?

Updated: 2014-08-07 07:15

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)

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Familiar faces in Venice a boost to China's films?

Director Ann Hui (carried) at a promotional event for her new movie The Golden Era. Yan Hualiang / China Daily

Hong Kong director Ann Hui, best known for her handling of stories about women and social issues, will join the jury for the Orizzonti section (Horizons), which is open to all "custom-format" works, with "a wider view toward new trends in the expressive languages that converge in film".

Her latest biographical movie The Golden Era, about Chinese author Xiao Hong (1911-42), will be the festival's closing film.

Vivian Qu, producer of this year's Golden Bear-winner Black Coal, Thin Ice, joined the panel to pick a winner for the Lion of the Future, an award for debut films. Her own directoral debut, Trap Street, was the only Asian movie competing for this award in Venice last year.

Chinese faces appeared in juries for the big three European competitions for the first time in 1983, when director Huang Zongjiang attended the Berlin International Film Festival.

At that time, he was one of the few Chinese filmmakers who could speak English, which is necessary to work as a judge. Huang is best-known for his The Story of Liubao Village in 1957.

It is hard to know if more involvement of Chinese filmmakers will give Chinese movies an advantage among judging panels at such top film screenings in Europe.

When actress Gong Li joined the jury of the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, the New Wave icon from Hong Kong, Wong Kar-wai, was named best director for his highly praised Happy Together, depicting a turbulent romance between two men.

Gong also led the jury at Berlin in 2000, when director Zhang Yimou, her longtime collaborator and former lover, got the Silver Bear for the nostalgic and romantic drama The Road Home. And, when Zhang led the jury at Venice in 2007, Lust, Caution won Ang Lee another Golden Lion only two years after Brokeback Mountain.

These awards are only a small part of a long list.

"The jury president usually won't interfere the group's decision, and will host the discussion in most cases," director Xie Fei, a 2001 member of the Berlin jury, told The Beijing News.