Sunday, July 30, 2006


Media Asia Films has always been synonymous with quality Chinese films, and this year it is proud to present two tentpole movies at the upcoming Venice Film Festival and both are being selected in Official Selections – Johnnie To’s Exiled in competition and Feng Xiaogang’s The Banquet in out-of-competition. Both films feature stellar cast and crew that will surely grace the red carpet in Venice, including director Feng with his “Banquet” cast of Ziyi Zhang, Ge You, Daniel Wu and Zhou Xun, as well as Johnnie To leading his “Exiled” cast of Anthony Wong, Simon Yam, Francis Ng and Josie Ho.

Director To has been a regular guest at the festival circuit, and he felt honored upon receiving the news. He wished the Hong Kong cinema would transcend the Asian market, and there would be more quality works from the local filmmakers. The director also wanted to express his gratitude towards three parties – Mr. Peter Lam, chairman of Media Asia, for investing in this film; the cast members for their extended patience; and Mr. Davide Croff, president of Venice film fest for his support of Exiled.

As Exiled is in competition, its cast is also poised to compete in the acting categories. Everyone is undoubtedly exhilarated about this. “It’s unlikely to win if everyone has a chance,” joked star Anthony Wong. “But we’ll be there simply to complement Johnnie To!

“I’m really happy for Johnnie To,” echoed co-star Simon Yam. “It’s not easy to enter an international festival. As this is an ensemble film, I hope all six cast members would win, just like in Cannes this year!”

The film’s female lead Josie Ho literally screamed out of joy when she heard the news. “I remembered when I went to Venice last time, I could only walk on the peripheral of that red carpet. But I managed to sneak in and take a picture on the carpet. I almost saw Tom Cruise when the security guard hushed me away! But this time I can finally walk on it with pride.” Josie said she would immediately share this exciting news with her family. “This is my first time working with director To. He’s not as frightening as I expected! I’m really grateful that he has taught me to see things from different perspectives, and not just from the actor’s point-of-view.”

Amidst her busy schedule and the promotion of her latest album, Josie insisted on adding one more crucial task: “I have to pick the most gorgeous gown to walk on the Venice red carpet!”

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