Cannes festival sees growing interest in Chinese cinema

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Chinese stars Zhao Tao (left) and Liao Fan headline Jia Zhangke's latest directorial film Ash is Purest White. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The 71st Cannes Film Festival has a strong Chinese presence this year with many Chinese stars seen on opening night and director Jia Zhangke's latest movie Ash is Purest White shortlisted for the Palme D'Or .

Meanwhile, Taiwan actor Chang Chen-who has had nine films nominated or screened in Cannes over the past two decades, is on the nine-member juror panel presided by Cate Blanchett.

Speaking about the things he plans to do at Cannes, Chang says he will help the other jurors understand Asian cinema better, and that he will not treat the four nominated Asian films differently.

Besides Jia's Ash is Purest White, the other Asian films selected for the official competition are South Korea director Lee Changdong's Burning; Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Three Face and Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters.

Ash is Purest White is defined by its director as a romance which spans 17 years from 2000.

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