Chinese director Zhang Yimou receives lifetime award at Tokyo International Film Festival, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Chinese director Zhang Yimou receives lifetime award at Tokyo International Film Festival

TOKYO – Chinese director Zhang Yimou was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) on Monday.

The 73-year-old recalled in his acceptance speech that his connections to TIFF stretch back three decades. He won Best Actor for the movie Old Well (1986) at the second TIFF in 1987. It also nabbed the prestigious Tokyo Grand Prix awarded to the best film.

“The Tokyo Film Festival was newly established 36 years ago, and I was not a director at that time,” he said. “I then returned to the festival 18 years later as the chairman of the jury.” He was referring to the 18th TIFF in 2005.

He has now won the Lifetime Achievement Award after another 18 years.

“I am back to the place where I first started. This is like a cycle. This cycle is often not the end, but a new beginning,” he said.

Zhang made his directorial debut with Red Sorghum (1988) and has directed well-known movies such as The Story Of Qiu Ju (1992), Hero (2002) and House Of Flying Daggers (2004).

In addition to movies, he also directed the opening and closing ceremonies of both the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The 36th TIFF kicked off in Tokyo with more than 200 film-makers and actors from Japan, and also other countries and regions, appearing on the red carpet.

Festival chairman Hiroyasu Ando declared the opening of the festival on Monday, saying: “We would like to make a further leap forward now that the Covid-19 pandemic has settled.”

The festival, running until Nov 1, will screen 219 films, mainly at movie theatres in the Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Hibiya and Ginza areas in the capital.

Fifteen films chosen from 1,942 entries submitted by 114 countries and regions will be screened in this year’s competition division, in which the Tokyo Grand Prix and other prizes will be awarded. - XINHUA