Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jia Zhangke & Zhang Weiping

Golden Lion-winning Chinese director Jia Zhangke is considering defamation proceedings against film producer Zhang Weiping's over allegations that his Venice Film Festival award was fixed.   
In an open letter to Zhang, director Zhang Yimou's long-time producer, who also produced the box office hit "Curse of the Golden Flower", Jia responded to Zhang's comment in a newspaper that Jia's film "Still Life" had won the Golden Lion because Venice Film Festival director Marco Muller had invested in it.  
In a report carried by Monday's Chongqing Evening Post, Zhang Weiping was quoted as saying that Jia Zhangke and Marco Muller manipulated the award of the top prize to "Still Life" at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.  
"I hope Mr. Zhang will provide evidence to prove that Marco Muller is an investor in Still Life," Jia said in the letter. "Your comment has already harmed my reputation and I'm considering resorting to legal procedures."   
Zhang Weiping is a long-time partner of director Zhang Yimou, who produced "House of Flying Daggers", "Hero", "Happy Times", "Not One Less", and "The Road Home".  
Zhang Yimou has won two Golden Lions for "The Story of Qiu Ju" in 1992 and "Not One Less" in 1999, the latter produced by Zhang Weiping.   
Jia's "Still Life" was released on the Chinese mainland this month, putting it head to head with Zhang Yimou's imperial palace drama "Curse of the Golden Flower", starring Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li.  
Jia has criticized the over-commercialization of Chinese film as hurting artistic films and the prospects of cultivating new talent.

from CriEnglish

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