Chi­nese films prom­i­nent in Toronto Fes­ti­val

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI NA in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (TIFF) is con­sid­ered one of the pre­mier film events in North Amer­ica. The 39th edi­tion of the fes­ti­val, which runs from Septem­ber 4-14, at­tracts a ros­ter of global film tal­ent that in­cludes prom­i­nent Chi­nese film­mak­ers and artists.

Zhang Yi­mou, Ning Hao, Wang Xiaoshua and Peter Chan are ex­pected to at­tend the fes­ti­val. Ac­tresses Zhou Dongyu and Ma Su are also on the celebrity guest list.

Four Chi­nese films are sched­uled to be screened at TIFF: Ning Hao’s Breakup Bud­dies, Zhang Yi­mou’s Com­ing Home, Peter Chan’s Dear­est and Wang Xiaoshuai’s Red Am­ne­sia. Ning Hao will have a world pre­mier for his new movie while the oth­ers will be mak­ing their North Amer­i­can de­buts.

Six ad­di­tional Chi­nese films are ex­pected to be screened as well. John­nie To’s Don’t Go Break­ing My Heart 2 (Dan Shen Nan Nu 2) and An­drew Lau and An­drew Loo’s Re­venge of the Green Dragons are mak­ing their world de­but. Chang Jung-Chi’s Part­ners in Crime (Kong Feng) and Tsai Ming-liang’s Jour­ney to the West (Xi You) are mak­ing their North Amer­i­can and Cana­dian pre­miers re­spec­tively.

Chi­nese ti­tles are even among the re­stored clas­sics at this year’s fes­ti­val with Wu Yong­gang’s The God­dess and King Hu’s Dragon Inn re­ceiv­ing the dig­i­tal treat­ment. The for­mer tells the tragic story of a wronged pros­ti­tute while the lat­ter is a Ming dy­nasty-era tale of war­riors and as­sas­sins.

While the 10 Chi­nese films so far make up only a small por­tion of the es­ti­mated 300 films at this year’s fes­ti­val, event or­ga­niz­ers have ex­pressed a grow­ing in­ter­est in work­ing with the Chi­nese film in­dus­try.

TIFF’s CEO Piers Han­dling, who has at­tended the Bei­jing Film Fes­ti­val and vis­ited Shang­hai last year, said they hope to es­tab­lish more co­op­er­a­tion with China.

“We had a lot of ideas on en­gag­ing with China and we talked to peo­ple in the film in­dus­try there. We joined the open­ing night of the Bei­jing Film Fes­ti­val and we are con­sid­er­ing pro­mot­ing more of TIFF’s pro­gram­ming in China,” he said.

This will also mark the third year that TIFF has hosted the Asian Film Sum­mit to es­tab­lish more links with Asian cinema. It will fea­ture Peter Loehr, CEO of the film pro­duc­tion com­pany Leg­endary East as the key­note speaker.

The sum­mit has tra­di­tion­ally lured such big names big names such as Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves, Mira Nair, John­nie To, and the pro­ducer Harvey We­in­stein.

Founded in 1976, TIFF is a char­i­ta­ble cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to trans­form the way peo­ple see the world through film. Through pro­jects in­clud­ing the an­nual film fes­ti­val in Septem­ber, TIFF is now one of the most pres­ti­gious events of its kind in the world. US ac­tors and ac­tresses Bill Mur­ray, Robert Downey Jr., Kate Winslet, Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Kris­ten Wiig, Steve Carell and Tina Fey are also ex­pected to at­tend this year’s fes­ti­val.

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