Chinese films prominent in Toronto Festival

Updated: 2014-08-23 00:33

By LI NA in Toronto(China Daily Canada)

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Chinese films prominent in Toronto Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is considered one of the premier film events in North America. The 39th edition of the festival, which runs from September 4-14, attracts a roster of global film talent that includes prominent Chinese filmmakers and artists.

Zhang Yimou, Ning Hao, Wang Xiaoshua and Peter Chan are expected to attend the festival. Actresses Zhou Dongyu and Ma Su are also on the celebrity guest list.

Four Chinese films are scheduled to be screened at TIFF: Ning Hao's Breakup Buddies, Zhang Yimou's Coming Home, Peter Chan's Dearest and Wang Xiaoshuai's Red Amnesia. Ning Hao will have a world premier for his new movie while the others will be making their North American debuts.

Six additional Chinese films are expected to be screened as well. Johnnie To's Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 (Dan Shen Nan Nu 2) and Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo's Revenge of the Green Dragons are making their world debut. Chang Jung-Chi's Partners in Crime (Kong Feng) and Tsai Ming-liang's Journey to the West (Xi You) are making their North American and Canadian premiers respectively.

Chinese titles are even among the restored classics at this year's festival with Wu Yonggang's The Goddess and King Hu's Dragon Inn receiving the digital treatment. The former tells the tragic story of a wronged prostitute while the latter is a Ming dynasty-era tale of warriors and assassins.

While the 10 Chinese films so far make up only a small portion of the estimated 300 films at this year's festival, event organizers have expressed a growing interest in working with the Chinese film industry.

TIFF's CEO Piers Handling, who has attended the Beijing Film Festival and visited Shanghai last year, said they hope to establish more cooperation with China.

"We had a lot of ideas on engaging with China and we talked to people in the film industry there. We joined the opening night of the Beijing Film Festival and we are considering promoting more of TIFF's programming in China," he said.

This will also mark the third year that TIFF has hosted the Asian Film Summit to establish more links with Asian cinema. It will feature Peter Loehr, CEO of the film production company Legendary East as the keynote speaker.

The summit has traditionally lured such big names big names such as Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves, Mira Nair, Johnnie To, and the producer Harvey Weinstein.

Founded in 1976, TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. Through projects including the annual film festival in September, TIFF is now one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world. US actors and actresses Bill Murray, Robert Downey Jr., Kate Winslet, Denzel Washington, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell and Tina Fey are also expected to attend this year's festival.