Berlin 2013: Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' to Open Festival

Courtesty of Berlinale 2011

The martial arts epic stars Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang.

BERLIN - Wong Kar Wai's martial arts epic The Grandmaster starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang will open the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 7, 2013.

Chang Chen, Xiao Shengyang and Song Hye Kyo also star.

The film is set in 1930s China and is inspired by the life of the legendary martial artist the Ip Man, mentor to Bruce Lee, whom Leung will play in the film. Wong, whose work includes such acclaimed dramas as In the Mood For Love, Chungking Express, Happy Together and Blueberry Nights, has been working on the idea for The Grandmaster since 1996.

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The film will screen out of competition in Berlin as director Wong is also President of the Jury for the 2013 Berlinale.

Typical for the perfectionist director, Wong is still editing the final cut of Grandmaster, which will have its world premiere in China on Jan. 8. Berlin will be the international premiere.

“I am truly very honored by (Berlin Festival director) Dieter (Kosslick) and his invitation for my new film The Grandmaster to participate in the 63rd Berlinale and to open the festival," said Wong. "This is a dream project for me that I had been developing for many years... I was already greatly looking forward to my returning to Berlin to serve as the President of the International Jury, so seeing The Grandmaster presented there will make it all the more special for me."

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The Grandmaster is a Block 2 Pictures and Sil-Metropole Organisation presentation of a Jet Tone Films and Sil-Metropole Organisation production.

It bows worldwide in the Spring of 2013, with Wild Bunch handling the film's release in Germany.