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11th Beijing Student Film Festival Opens

China's film industry, born in 1905, is preparing to celebrate its 100th birthday. This was not lost on college students attending the 11th Beijing Student Film Festival.

Officials, film directors and stars, and hundreds of local college students attended the opening ceremony at Beijing's Millennium Monument Hall.

Since it was founded in 1993, the Beijing Student Film Festival has been called the "Gas Station of Chinese Films." And this year it's offering even more -- in addition to showing more than 30 Chinese movies, the festival will hold eight premieres especially for student audience.

At the opening ceremony, director Xie Dong took his debut film "The Coldest Day" and its leading actors to meet audience. After serving as assistant director to Zhang Yimou for many years, Xie was excited to join the festival with a film that's all his.

Xie Dong, director of The Coldest Day, said, "I believe the students will love this film because they are passionate and have good taste in art. We made this film sincere, and I firmly believe the young audiences can feel it."

Other Chinese movie stars were also warmly welcomed by students. And young film buffs were excited to be taking part in the festival.

Zheng Tao, student of Beijing Foreign Studies University, said, "It's the first time I've joined the festival and I really love it because so many excellent original Chinese films are shown. I have seen some of the featured movies, and I have strong interest in the old ones."

Wang Peicheng, student from China Agriculture University, said, "A documentary shot in our university is in the festival. To us, the festival has become a nation-wide gathering of movie-lovers."

Several academic conferences on the development of China's film industry will be held during the festival, and the inclusion of French films is another highlight. The awards ceremony will be held on May 15.

(CCTV.com April 21, 2004)

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