• "The Banquet" to Premiere at Venice Film Festival



    Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's martial arts epic "The
    Banquet," starring "Memoirs of a Geisha" actress Zhang Ziyi,
    will have its world premiere at this year's Venice Film Festival on Sept. 3.

    It will be the first full-length showing of the film after last year's
    promotion in Berlin, Cannes and the United States, Wang Yang, spokeswoman for
    Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. Ltd., China's biggest private film maker,
    told Xinhua Wednesday.

    Feng and actors Zhang Ziyi, Ge You and Zhou Xun will promote the film at the
    festival, she said.

    The 20-million-U.S.-dollar film, coproduced by Huayi Brothers and the Hong Kong
    Media Asia Films Company, will be released across
    <st1:place>Asia</st1:place> on Sept.
    15.

    Set during the tumultuous Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907-979), "The
    Banquet" recounts the tragedy of an empress, played by Zhang Ziyi, who is
    destroyed in a struggle for power inside the palace, Feng said.

    The 130-minute movie was composed by Oscar winner Tan Dun and choreographed by
    Yuen Wo-Ping, both acclaimed for the Oscar winner "Crouching Tiger, Hidden
    Dragon."

    It represents a major change of style for Feng, one of the most bankable
    Chinese film directors, who has shot modern comic movies like "Big Shot's
    Funeral," "Cell Phone" and "A World Without Thieves."

    The movie's distribution rights in the
    <st1:country-region><st1:place>United
    Kingdom
    </st1:place></st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region><st1:place>France</st1:place></st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region><st1:place>Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region> have
    been sold, according Wang.




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