Tsui Hark’s martial-arts thriller “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” will be the only Chinese-language film to compete for the top honor at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, organizers have announced.
“Detective Dee” is a fictional account of Di Renjie, a legendary detective and official living in the Tang Dynasty of ancient China who was sometimes compared to Sherlock Holmes.
Andy Lau plays the detective, supported by Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Deng Chao.
The film will compete for the Golden Lion with 21 other features that include Ascanio Celestini’s “La Pecora Nera”, Antony Cordier’s “Happy Few” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”.
“Black Swan”, starring Natalie Portman, will open the festival on September 1 along with the Chinese action film “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen”, which will be screened out of competition.
An international jury led by American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino will decide winners for the Golden Lion awards.
Chinese director John Woo, the mastermind behind such films as “Face/Off”, “Windtalkers” and “Mission: Impossible II”, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 67th Venice International Film Festival will close on September 11 with the screening of Julie Taymor’s adaptation of the mystical Shakespeare play, “The Tempest”.