John Woo to Head Jury at Beijing Film Festival

John Woo

The Hong Kong action director will preside over the "Tiantan Awards" at the fourth edition of the Chinese capital's top cinema event.

Hong Kong director John Woo will head the international jury at the Beijing International Film Festival in April.

Woo's jury will decide the winners of this year's Tiantan Awards, handed out annually at the event in 10 categories -- for best feature, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, screenplay, cinematography, music and visual effects.

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In Asia, Woo is best known for his Hong Kong features The Killer and A Better Tomorrow, and in Hollywood he made Broken Arrow and Face/Off. His next movie, The Crossing, widely touted as China’s answer to Titanic, is due to open toward the end of the year.

This is the fourth Beijing festival. Past editions have been attended by James Cameron, Luc Besson and Keanu Reeves.

Among new events planned for the fourth Beijing International Film Festival will be a documentary segment, a Chinese film focus and a future international film exhibition.

The market at the festival is also a highlight, with $1.42 billion worth of deals signed last year. Organizers say they are expecting even better results in both trade volume and film project quality for this year’s event.

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This year's festival will open with a screening rather than a major gala performance, part of a broader austerity drive aimed at stamping out official corruption in China.

The festival screens hundreds of films from other countries, most of which have never been imported to or screened in China but which get a pass for the special occasion.

Organizers said 1,323 films from 79 countries have been selected for screening, 1,149 of which are foreign films. Most of the films were produced during the past two years.

The festival will also include forums, exhibitions and a carnival. It will take place Apr. 16-24 in Beijing.

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