Sunday, December 27, 2009

Director Zhang Yimou gets achievement award

The Asian Film Awards will hand Chinese director Zhang Yimou a lifetime achievement prize at its annual gala in March.

"Zhang is one of the most distinguished figures in the Chinese filming industry — a true and unique talent, and we are proud to further acknowledge his contribution," said Soo-wei Shaw, executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, the organizer of the Asian Film Awards.

Zhang, who choreographed the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, hit the spotlight in 1987 with Red Sorghum.

His dramas, often starring his long-time collaborator Gong Li, include To Live, Not One Less and Raise the Red Lantern.

Zhang's 1992 film The Story of Qiu Ju captured the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival

The 59-year-old filmmaker's status as a global auteur hit its peak when he directed 2002's Hero, starring martial arts mainstay Jet Li. At the time, it was the most expensive and highest-grossing Chinese film ever made.

He continued in the tradition with 2004's House of Flying Daggers, starring Zhang Ziyi, and 2006's The Curse of the Golden Flower.

Recently, he did a Chinese remake of U.S. filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple. Called The Simple Noodle Story, it's now a hit in China.

The Asian Film Awards event will be held in Hong Kong on March 22.

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