Ann Hui to receive top honor at Venice Film Festival

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 22, 2020
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A poster is released to celebrate Ann Hui's Venice Film Festival Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement. [Photo courtesy of Alibaba Pictures]

Chinese filmmaker Ann Hui will be presented with a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Venice festival director Alberto Barbera in a statement praised the Hong Kong-based director as "one of Asia's most respected, prolific and versatile directors of our time; her career spans four decades and touches every film genre."

The decision was made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia upon recommendation of Barbera.

He concluded: "In a trailblazing fashion, through her language and her unique visual style, not only has she captured the specific aspects of the city and the imagination of Hong Kong, she has also transposed and translated them into a universal perspective. "

Hui responded by saying that she was so happy to receive this news and honored for the award. "So happy that I feel I cannot find the words. I just hope everything in the world will turn better soon and everybody can feel again as happy as I am in this moment."

The Chinese director will become the first female director to earn this top honor at Venice. She is no stranger to Venice, where Hui's "A Simple Life" and "The Golden Era" both world-premiered at the festival. 

Hui emerged as one of the pivotal figures of the Hong Kong New Wave in the 1980s, following her debut feature "The Secret" (1979). During her 45-year career, she produced many classics, such as "Boat People" (1982), "Song of the Exile" (1990), "Summer Snow" (1995), "July Rhapsody" (2002), "The Way We Are" (2008), and "Our Time Will Come" (2017). She has won more best director awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards than anyone else with six awards.

Hui's latest drama is "Love After Love," a film adaptation of a short story "Aloeswood Incense" by the late Eileen Chang, who is one of the most popular women writers in China. To celebrate her Venice honor, Alibaba Pictures and other producers of the new film released a new poster for "Love After Love," designed by Huang Hai.

The film tells the story of a young woman who travels from Shanghai to Hong Kong in pursuit of education but ends up living beyond her means. 

A poster of Ann Hui's new film "Love After Love" [Image courtesy of Alibaba Pictures]

Actors Ma Sichun, Yu Feihong, Eddie Peng, Fan Wei, and Isabella Leong star in the new film. Hui recruited a multi-award-winning crew, including Christopher Doyle ("In the Mood for Love," "Chungking Express"), costume designer Emi Wada ("Ran," "Hero," "House of Flying Daggers"), art director Zhao Hai ("The Golden Era," "A World Without Thieves"), sound designer TuDuu-Chih ("In the Mood for Love"), and editor Eric Kwong Chi-Leung ("Battle of Wits") as well as famous musician and score composer Ryuichi Sakamoto ("The Revenant," "The Last Emperor").

The release date is not known due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides Ann Hui, British actress Tilda Swinton will be presented with a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival is set to run Sept. 2 – 12. The line-up will be announced on July 28.

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