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Diminished Chinese presence in Venice

Updated: 2012-08-29 13:34

Diminished Chinese presence in Venice

A woman talks on the phone as she walks past the official logo at the 69th Venice Film Festival in Venice August 28, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

The 69th Venice Film Festival is to kick off on Wednesday. Compared with the previous years, Chinese-language films seem to have dropped out the top clans while the festival strives to reinvent itself with increasing competitions.

No Chinese films will be seen in the in-competition rounds, while Tai Chi 0 by Hong Kong Director Stephen Fung is expected to appear in the out-of-competition circle followed by three pieces in the Horizon area.

Chinese film makers have witnessed their best years at Venice under the festival's former artistic director Marco Mueller, with multiple Golden Lions won by directors including Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Jia Zhangke and Hsiao-hsien Hou.

Among them, Lee, a two-time winner of the Golden Lion, served as president of the Venice film festival jury in 2009.

Venice has faced quite a lot of challenges from the imminent Toronto event, which is more commercially successful, as well as other festivals such as Berlin and Rome, both equally artistic with the latter hiring Mueller.

Compared its counterpart hosts, the Lido island of Venice tends to be more expensive with limited infrastructure. To boost its credentials, the festival's current artistic director Alberto Barbera has launched a small film market this year to help Venice go commercial, a concept hard to accept for a lot of art movie fans.