Sports/Olympics / 2008 Beijing Olympics

Big names cast in ceremonies' roles
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-17 05:33

A star-studded cast will put together the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) announced yesterday.

Directors Zhang Yimou (left) and Steven Spielberg: Film greats collaborate.
Directors Zhang Yimou (left) and Steven Spielberg: Film greats collaborate. 
Internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou was appointed chief director for both the opening and closing ceremonies, while multi-Oscar winning Hollywood director Steven Spielberg was named artistic adviser.

"Today will be an unforgettable day in my life and I feel very honoured to be the director of the ceremonies," said 54-year-old Zhang at the appointment ceremony yesterday.

"I have also felt much responsibility to the task and I make a solemn promise that I will work with the whole team to accomplish the task successfully."

Known as China's "Fifth Generation" director, Zhang is famous around the world for his 1991 film "Raise the Red Lantern," and his 2004 work, "House of Flying Daggers," both of which were nominated for Oscars.

Zhang will be assisted by two deputy directors: Zhang Jigang, director of the Song and Dance Ensemble affiliated with the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army; and Chen Weiya, director of the China National Song and Dance Ensemble.

Led by renowned US director Spielberg, a group of artists, experts and professors from both home and abroad will offer their help as cultural and artistic advisers.

"It's a great honour to accept this appointment as an overseas adviser," said Spielberg, whose most recent film "Munich" was based on the events in the aftermath of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

"On behalf of all the other advisers, I'd like to say that our one goal is to give the world a taste of peace, friendship, co-operation and understanding."

"Through the visual and performing arts, the art of music, the art of dance and the art of celebration of life, all of us are dedicated to making these Olympic opening and closing ceremonies the most emotional everyone has ever seen."
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