Five film directors finish works for Beijing 2008 Olympics

BEIJING -- Five short films about the preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games shot by world-renowned directors will be broadcast on TV both at home and abroad on Feb 28.

In a project named Vision Beijing to promote the Olympic host city, the Chinese capital invited Italian Giuseppe Tornatore, Majid Majidi from Iran, Patrice Leconte from France, Daryl Goodrich from Britain and Andrew Lau Wai Keung from Hong Kong to each make a short film telling stories about Chinese people's preparation for the August 8-24 Games.

It took 600 days to finish the project, Wang Hui, an official from the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee, said yesterday.

The five films will be screened on CCTV-2 on Thursday and they will also be on Beijing TV and the national TV stations of Italy, France and Iran. Sohu.com will put the films online for global viewing.

In Tornatore's first trip to China, the Academy Award winner for "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" in 1988, made "Reunion," telling a story about how a group of students and their teacher got back together after 30 years.

It was also the first China visit for Majidi.

"I am most impressed by middle-aged and retired people, who have great passion for life," he said.

But Majidi, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with "Children of Heaven" in 1998, chose his favorite subject, children.

In "Colors Fly," Majidi focused on children looking forward to the Games.

Leconte was a stranger to the city, too, but he soon caught up with his knowledge of the Chinese capital, shooting "Beijing - A Film Impressionistic."

Leconte depicted Beijing through various structures including the Summer Palace, Olympic venues and modern constructions.

Retired athlete Goodrich has found a career in a combination of sport and film-making. After the success of his promotional film for London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, he joined Vision Beijing.

His five-minute film, entitled "Belief," focuses on the hard work and thrill of athletic competition.
"I was invited to make a film about sports, about children and to celebrate the Olympic Games," he said. "That's what I do and that's why I came to Beijing and I had a wonderful time.''

Lau, the only Chinese director, showed his love for Chinese food in "Color, Fragrance, Taste Beijing."

He showed different types of famous Chinese food and depicted relations between food and culture.

"I love food so I am the right person to make the film," Lau said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.

Talking about director Steven Spielberg quitting as an adviser to the Games, Lau said: "I was shocked ... it's clear that the Olympics is all about sport and nothing to do with politics."

Spielberg withdrew from his position as an adviser to the opening and closing ceremonies on February 12 over his beliefs about China's policy on the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

(Shanghai Daily)

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