Film director Zhang Yimou has insisted that his current projects will not affect his work on the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
Zhang is currently directing a film called The City of Golden Armor and an outdoor music production called Impression Lijiang in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Zhang was appointed by the Beijing Olympics organizers last month as director of the opening and closing ceremonies for the forthcoming Olympics, with Hollywood director Steven Spielberg made an artistic consultant along with two other foreigners who have previously managed Olympics and other sporting extravaganzas.
"Directing large activities such as the outdoor performance in Lijiang will prove very helpful in preparing for the Olympics. Ideas that arise from directing large-scale outdoor shows can be used for the Olympic ceremonies" said Zhang.
In addition, Zhang's high-profile opera The First Emperor will premiere at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. The opera will be composed by Oscar winner Tan Dun and feature tenor Placido Domingo.
The project was signed about two years ago, and the work would not hinder the preparation for the Olympics, Zhang reiterated.
Zhang has announced that The City of Golden Armor will be his last film until after the Olympics.
"There is enough time. After I finish the current works this year, I'll go all out for the Olympics next year," Zhang added.
(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2006)