John Woo to get Venice fest career award

Fest director Marco Mueller backs Golden Lion honor

LONDON -- Director-producer John Woo is to be awarded a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement during next year's Venice International Film Festival, organizers said Monday.

Venice organizers describe Woo as an "innovator of the contemporary language of cinema" and plan to dish the honor out during the 67th edition of the grand dame of film festivals, which runs Sept. 1-11.

The decision was made by the Biennale di Venezia board, chaired by Paolo Barattaa after Venice festival director Marco Mueller backed Woo for the plaudit.

Woo has plied his moviemaking trade both in Asia and Hollywood, making films such as "A Better Tomorrow," "The Killer" and "Bullet in the Head " in the Far East and "Broken Arrow," "Face/Off" and "Mission: Impossible 2, in the U.S. Woo also authors video games and graphic novels.

Woo will return to the Venice film festival for the fourth time. In 2004 he was the "godfather" of the Secret History of Asian Film. In 2006 he returned as director of one of the episodes of "All the Invisible Children," a film screened out of competition at the 63rd Mostra. In 2007 he was the producer of "Blood Brothers" (Tiantang kou), the debut feature by Alexi Tan, which closed out the 64th edition.