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Venice festival director stresses Chinese influence in film industry

(Xinhua)

11:25, September 01, 2012

VENICE, Italy, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The new director of the Venice Film Festival chanted the creative power of Chinese film makers in "telling the stories of a great nation" in a special interview with Chinese media amid tight schedule while the festival is going on.

The meeting was arranged amid wide disappointment over the fact that no Chinese films entered the competition session, a situation rarely seen in recent years in Venice, which has increasingly become a holy place for young Chinese directors with artistic aspirations.

Alberto Barbera said he was actually very confident about the Chinese films. He said he had been "impressed with the passion of Chinese film makers and the unique culture of China and other eastern countries" since he first encountered Chinese movies three decades ago.

He said he admired the creativity of Chinese film makers and their great capacity in creating cinematic styles that were quite different from movies in the West.

Barbera used "coincidence" in explaining why no Chinese films enter the main competition area. He said the 18 films in competition was a narrow-down as compared with the number of 23 last year.

The Horizon round is also part of the competition section, which means it is still possible for the Chinese movies to grab titles at the festival, said Barbera, who replaced Marco Mueller this year as the festival's artistic director.

Under Mueller, the Chinese film makers have witnessed their best years at Venice, with multiple Golden Lions won by directors like Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Jia Zhangke and Hsiao-hsien Hou.

According to Barbera, people not only find the potential box-office hit in the out-of-competition area, but also have here the very special and talented low-cost films. So it's safe to say that Chinese movies are still widely represented at the festival, he added.

Barbera said he was sure that the next festival would see a more shining China, including at the main competition session.

He particularly mentioned Fly with the Crane by young Chinese director Li Ruijun, which he said showed the special talent of the young Chinese director.

The film was adapted from a novel by Su Tong, a screenwriter and novelist widely known in China and here in Venice. The movie Raise the Red Lantern based on his novel and directed by Zhang Yimou won numerous awards worldwide, including the Silver Lion at the Venice festival in 1991.

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