Il Leone d’Oro (English: The Golden Lion) is the highest prize given to a film at the Venice Film Festival. The prize was introduced in 1949 by the
organizing committee and is now regarded as one of the film industry’s most distinguished prizes. In 1970, a second Golden Lion was introduced; this is an
honorary award for people who have made an important contribution to cinema. While no Chinese film has been entered in the competition section of the Cannes International Film Festival this summer, there will be three competitors for the Golden Lion, book your China Flights through Air China and come to see where were this movies made.

Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s new work Life Without Principle has been added to the lineup of the 68th Venice International Film Festival, officials revealed recently. The heist flick tells of how a financial analyst, a thug and a cop, who share a desperate need for money, are linked when a bag of stolen money worth $5 million appears.

“This is a turbulent world, and in order to survive people have no choice but to play the game,” To says about the film in a statement released by the festival organizers. “No matter how hard you try to follow the rules, sooner or later, a part of you will be lost.” This is the third time the 56-year-old will see his work competing in the festival. However, neither of his other two films, Exiled and The Mad Detective, picked up an award.

To directs and produces the film, which stars Lau Ching Wan, Denise Ho and Terence Yin. Another veteran Hong Kong filmmaker, Ann Hui, will challenge To with A Simple Life. The tearjerker is based on a real story about the film’s producer Roger Lee and a family servant, who took care of him for more than 60 years. For Lee, the film is a tribute to his old friend, now dead. Hong Kong’s superstar Andy Lau and senior actress Deanie Ip lead the film, marking their first venture together in 23 years. Unlike To and Hui, 43-year-old Wei Te-sheng from Taiwan is a newcomer to the industry, with just one film, the 2008 romantic hit Cape No 7, under his belt.

Wei joins the competition with an ambitious work titled Seediq Bale, literally “A Real Man”. The 135-minute film depicts Taiwan aboriginal Seediq’s fight against the Japanese rulers in 1930. John Woo produces the film, starring Taiwan actress Vivian Hsu and Landy Wen.

This year’s Venice festival runs from Aug 31 to Sept 10 and includes a “surprise film”, a feature introduced by director Marco Muller, when he took over in
2004. In all, 23 films are in the run for the Golden Lion this year. Make your China Travel to see this wonderful country and his cinematrographic culture.

Jack Li

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