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August 20, 2009

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Home » Feature » Events and TV

Two debut directors tackle subjects from a female perspective

THE epic drama "Empire of Silver" is the debut feature-length film of Christina Yao, who used to be a veteran stage director.

The film to be screened from tomorrow stars Chinese mainland actor Zhang Tielin and Hong Kong idol Aaron Kwok. Set to the turbulent backdrop of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it tells a story of a large banking merchants family in Shanxi Province. The three generations of the family are trying to save the declining business.

Previously, it was rare to see female directors handle a movie with such a big subject and long span of time. A big challenge for Yao is that the film is truly about a man's world. There are very few female characters in the movie.

Another highlight is the exquisite props, some of which are antiques borrowed from the museums in Shanxi Province.

Meanwhile, Chinese actress Yu Feihong spent 10 years preparing for her directorial debut, "Eternal Beloved."

The suspense romance adapted from a short novel will begin its national release next Wednesday, the traditional Chinese Valentine's Day. It is considered a Chinese version of Jerry Zucker's "Ghost."

Starring Yu and actor Duan Yihong, the film tells a tragic romantic tale that crosses between the dead and the living.

Yu, the actress-turned-director, was first impressed by "Gingko Gingko," a short novel by Shanghai writer Xu Lan.

With encouragement from Wang Xiaoshuai ("Beijing Bicycle"), one of China's famed six-generation directors, she decided to shoot a film based on the touching story.

The individual style of female film makers can be clearly noticed in Yu's heartwarming and detailed depiction of love and in-depth look into different human emotions and relationships.

Working as a director, in her eyes, is a "rewarding experience" as she learned to be patient and confident enough to deal with any unexpected situation.


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