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Jia Zhangke Launching International Film Festival in China to Spotlight Non-Western Cinema

The inaugural Pingyao Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon International Film Festival will take place this October in Shanxi.

Jia Zhangke

Jia Zhangke

Kin Cheung/AP/REX/Shutterstock

One of the most prominent Chinese filmmakers working today is about to take on a huge new project: Starting a film festival. Jia Zhangke confirmed during a press conference at the China Film Directors Center in Beijing the launch of the Pingyao Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, which is being described by China Film Insider as the nation’s first “boutique film festival.”

READ MORE: How ‘Mountains May Depart’ Director Jia Zhangke Juggled Past, Present and Future in His Latest Epic

The inaugural edition will take place October 19-26 in the Culture and Art District of Pingyao, Shanxi, which is located about four hours from Beijing. Jia grew up in Shanxi and rose to prominence making “underground” independent films in the province. His mission with this new film festival is to spotlight non-Western cinema and bring awareness to more local Chinese filmmakers. Jia also wants to give Chinese critics the chance to give their own impressions of global cinema.

“I have been living a double life since the very first film I made when I was 27,” the director said. “On the one hand, I have been telling stories with films that have deep roots in Shanxi and China. Yet, on the other hand, I shuttled through all kinds of international film festivals around the world with my films. I constantly wondered during the journey when we’d be able to have a film festival in our own country, in our own hometown, to let people look at our culture and our work and to contribute our reviews and opinions of the world’s films.”

Marco Mueller, former artistic chief at the Rome Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and Locarno Film Festival will serve as art director. Ang Lee has given his blessing for the festival to use the name of his blockbuster movie. The event’s Special Focus on Genre Film section will be dubbed “Crouching Tiger,” while the New Directors Competition will be dubbed “Hidden Dragon.”

Jia is currently in pre-production on his new film “Journey to the West,” based on the 16th century novel by Wu Cheng’en. For more on the upcoming film festival, head over to China Film Insider.

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Sylvia Smith

I am most interested in getting in touch with Jia Zangke about an Epic African film with three different tribes, China, Egypt and Africa, their battles, their Gods and their love stories. It is an Epic film and would love to speak with Mr. Zangke about this film for sponsorship. It will be filmed in South Africa and China. I will be reaching out the Chow Yun Fat for the Chinese lead. The Book will be put out this summer, and then the filming will begin..Thank you for your time and consideration. I am the Acquisitions Director for Echelon Studios in Los Angeles CA I am also V.P. of Sales and Licensing for the Echelon Studios International World Wide Distribution Company. See you soon. :)

    Sylvia Smith

    Good Day to Mr. Jia Zhangke I apologize for miss-spelling your name earlier. I would very much like to email or speak to you about and Epic African film that the writer took 16 years of research, and has now written the script. She will finish the book by this summer and it will be published in New York U.S.A. This is an amazing film and I would love you show you the presentation if you would like. I understand that sometimes you might do a sponsorship for certain films. What I am looking for is the Development money to get this film moving. I looked you up Mr. Zhangke and I really like where you are coming from with your films. Please if you could email me, or if we could speak that would be great. If you have Skype that would be better. Please email me and I will give you all my contact information. Thank you so much for your time and attention.. God Bless..

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