November 22, 2002

Chinese Actress Heads Venice Jury

One of China's best known actresses, Gong Li, has been picked to head the Venice Film Festival jury.

She is no stranger to success at the world's oldest film festival as her film Raise the Red Lantern won the top Golden Lion best film award in 1991.

The following year she won a best actress award for The Story of Qui Ju, directed by Zhang Yimou.

Li, 36, also starred in the Oscar-nominated Farewell My Concubine in 1994, which made the transition into Western art house cinema.

Honorary Golden Lion

The prestigious position of jury chief is usually afforded to directors and last year was headed by Italian film-maker Nanni Moretti, a Cannes Palme D'or winner.

The last time an actor took the role was in 1992 when Dennis Hopper was co-president, although he has directed a number of movies.

Festival organizers have also announced they will present an honorary Golden Lion to Italian director Dino Riso.

The 85-year-old will receive the honor for his life's work which include films such as Poor But Beautiful, The Easy Life and Profumo di Donna, which was nominated for a best foreign film Oscar in 1974.

The 2002 Venice Film Festival, which runs from 29 August to 8 September, has a new director, following the departure of Alberto Barbera.

New boss Moritz de Hadeln, from Switzerland, had been the director at Berlin for 22 years before leaving in 1991 after falling out with the German Government.


Although he has the necessary experience, his appointment still caused upset as some felt the festival should be led by and Italian.

The Venice Film Festival is regarded as one of the most glamorous events on the movie calendar.

It is perhaps a more commercial prospect than its Cannes equivalent, with more Hollywood films and their stars in attendance.

Nicole Kidman and Gene Hackman were among the stars last year.

The Indian film, Monsoon Wedding, directed by Mira Nair, won the main prize at Venice, the Golden Lion award, at the last festival.

(China Daily July 29, 2002)

In This Series
Gong Li to Be Chinese Monrow

Gong Li Wins Best Actress in Film Festival

Gong Li Awarded Special Prize in Montreal Film Festival



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