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Zhang Yimou romance to open Pusan Film Festival

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HONG KONG (AP) - Zhang Yimou's new romance will kick off the 15th edition of Asia's leading film festival, and Oliver Stone and Juliette Binoche will be among the event's guests, organizers said.

The Pusan International Film Festival said on its website Wednesday that the annual weeklong event in the southern South Korean city will open on Oct. 7 with Zhang's "Under the Hawthorn Tree," a love story set in China's decade-long ultra-leftist Cultural Revolution that will premiere in the country next week.

One of the first modern Chinese directors to make his name in the West, Zhang, whose credits include "Raise the Red Lantern" and "To Live," most recently released "A Simple Noodle Story," an adaptation of the Coen brothers' 1984 movie "Blood Simple."

The eight-day program will close with "Camellia," a three-part film shot in the festival's host city by directors from South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Overall, the festival will feature 103 world premieres _ 82 for feature productions and 21 for short films _ including special sections on Czech and Kurdish cinema.

Stone will promote his new release "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and be honored in a hand-printing ceremony. French actress Binoche will discuss her Cannes-winning role in Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy." The movie's Iranian director is also serving as dean of the festival's annual film academy.

China's Tang Wei, reportedly banned in her home country after playing a traitor in Ang Lee's 2007 spy thriller "Lust, Caution," will continue her comeback, promoting "Late Autumn," an English-language remake of a 1966 South Korean drama that co-stars Hyun Bin.

Veteran Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee and Japanese costume designer Emi Wada will give master classes.

Wada is also chairing the five-member jury for the festival's flagship New Currents prize for young filmmakers. "Lost" star, Korean-American Kim Yun-jin, is also on the panel.

Organizers will also present their annual Asian Filmmaker of the Year award to Malaysian Tsai Ming-liang, best known for exploring isolation and loneliness in slow-paced art-house productions with minimal dialogue and music.

Online:

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http://www.piff.org

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