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'The Promise' to Make World Debut on Dec. 15

"The Promise," an Oscar candidate and the latest offering from the director of the 1993's Oscar-nominated "Farewell My Concubine," Chen Kaige, will make its world debut on December 15.


Its premiere ceremony was scheduled for December 12 in Beijing, with each ticket costing 1,880 yuan (about US$232).


The number has obliterated the film debut price high in China, which was achieved by Zhang Yimou's "House of Flying Daggers" with each ticket costing 1,800 yuan in 2004.


Though the debut price was high, some lucky people can get free tickets by participating in relevant activities on the Internet organized by the producers, said Huang Bin, in charge of the film's promotion on the Chinese mainland.


The debut ceremony will feature the fans of "The Promise," who will make intimate exchanges with the directors and actors of the film, Huang said.


Chen Kaige made "The Promise" in 1,090 days, trekking for nearly 10,120 kilometers, with the cost of 340 million yuan (about US$42 million).


In May, a 11-minute trailer of the film was screened during the Cannes film festival, before the film secured the only qualification from the Chinese government for vying for 78th Oscar nomination representing the Chinese mainland.


There's no difficulty for western audiences to accept the movie at all, as it has an international spirit and some elements similar to those in Shakespeare's plays and Greek mythology, said Professor Yin Hong with Tsinghua University.


"If the actor's lines, which are very charming, are well translated, the movie has a very large potential for winning the Academy Award," he said.


The movie boasts an international cast of Asian superstars, including South Korea's Jang Dong-gun, Hiroyuki Sanada of "The Last Samurai," and Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse and Cecilia Cheung. Academy Award winner Peter Pau of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" provided the cinematography.


"The Promise" was shown in the southwestern city of Chengdu for a week in October to meet Academy Awards eligibility rules.


Chen, 53, one of China's most famous and successful directors, showed his confidence in winning the Oscar, saying, "I've a very good feeling as my movies used to run for prizes."


(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2005)

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