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Romance of youth
Actress Zhao Wei's maiden directorial work So Young will premiere on April 26. Zhao works with seasoned Hong Kong producer Stanley Kwan and writer Li Qiang to take the romance, based on a best-selling novel, to the big screen. Zhao calls the film a tribute to youth. It is also her graduation work from the directing department of the Beijing Film Academy. Her cast includes Taiwan heartthrob Mark Zhao and two new mainland actresses. Zhao says she loves both to act and direct. Although she finds directing a film to be demanding, she will try it again for stories that attract her.
Culture cool as ice
The 2013 China and South Korea Culture Festival was held in Longqingxia scenic spot, 85 kilometers from downtown Beijing from Jan 25 to 27. There were exhibitions of traditional South Korean costumes and games, plus orchestral music performances. Colorful ice sculptures in various shapes including Chejudo and ancient South Korean architecture shone at night, demonstrating the country's beautiful islands and traditional culture. Tourists could also explore the ice houses. The exhibition of ice sculptures will last until the end of February.
The Chrysalis, a thriller starring Taiwan actor Lee Wei, actress Chang Yung-yung and mainland actor Ren Quan, breaks into the festive Chinese New Year season studded with comedies. The film revolves around a cursed black wedding gown and three young people who are in love. Director Qiu Chuji, known for his TV commercial works, is confident that his expertise in visual impact will help the film make a stir in the market. The film was released on Feb 1.
National Geographic Channel has worked with China Central Television to create Inside China's Biggest Gala, a 50-minute documentary about Spring Festival Gala, the widely received annual TV show that airs on the eve of Chinese New Year. CCTV has been broadcasting the variety show involving singing, dancing, short skits, opera and acrobatics every Lunar New Year's Eve since 1983. It has become part of the Lunar New Year celebrations. National Geographic makes use of materials CCTV collected to produce the documentary, which traces the show's history and captures its milestone moments. The film will broadcast on Feb 10 on CCTV's Documentary Channel and National Geographic's channels in 26 countries.
Mark of Youth, a film on the theme of gaokao, or the college entrance examination in China, will premiere on Feb 5. The film focuses on four high school students preparing for their gaokao - which is considered a precious chance for Chinese youngsters, especially underprivileged ones, to change their lives. Hong Kong veteran actor Alex Fong plays their teacher. The film was set in Huanggang Middle School in Central China's Hubei province. The school is known for its students' outstanding performance on the exam.
The National Library of China will host an exhibition of the country's traditional New Year paintings during the 2013 Spring Festival holiday. The NLC has selected 120 traditional Lunar New Year paintings from its pool of 4,000. Artisans and successors of national intangible cultural heritage are also contributing to the exhibition with artworks and onsite demonstrations. Paintings on display portray traditional Chinese holiday spirits and Chinese fairytales. The oldest ones date back to early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
(China Daily 02/02/2013 page11)