Hong Kong film picked to compete at Cannes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 12:00am

Hong Kong film director Johnnie To Kei-fung's new movie, Election, will compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or award at next month's Cannes Film Festival.

The film tells the tale of one of Hong Kong's oldest triads and stars Tony Leung Kar-fai and Simon Yam Tat-wah. It is Hong Kong's only entry at Cannes this year, when it premieres there.

It is also the first time To has had a film selected in the competition category, which he said was a thrill.

'I'm happy that the Cannes officials appreciated my change of style from last year's Breaking News,' said To.

BreakingNews was an official selection at last year's festival.

'Election is not an action film, it's a drama. It proves that Hong Kong films are still of a high quality regardless of the genre,' he said.

The film's Hong Kong release date has yet to be announced.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chinese cinema, China Film Promotion International will hold a reception at Cannes on behalf of the Film Bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Festival organisers announced the full competition selection yesterday in Paris. Apart from Election, other films from Asia include The Best Of Our Times by Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, Shanghai Dreams by the mainland's Wang Xiaoshuai, and Bashing by Japan's Kobayashi Masahiro.

The French film Lemming by Dominik Moll will open the festival. Previous Palme d'Or winner, American Gus Van Sant, returns with Last Days, while Lars von Trier of Denmark presents Manderlay. Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knockin' (Germany) and A History of Violence by David Cronenberg (Canada) are also in competition.

The long-awaited Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith by George Lucas, and Woody Allen's Matchpoint, will be screened out of competition. The festival runs from May 11 to 22.