Film | Müller returns to China for ‘boutique’ festival

Marco Müller

Marco Müller, the renowned former artistic director of the prestigious Venice Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Rome and the First International Film Festival and Awards – Macau (IFFAM), will serve as artistic director for a film festival in Northern China.

Spearheaded by Chinese director Jia Zhangke and announced at the China Film Directors Center in Beijing last week, the inaugural Pingyao “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” International Film Festival will be held in Shanxi Province between October 19 and 26.

The festival acknowledges the pivotal work of Ang Lee’s 2000 classic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, which won more than 40 awards and became the highest-grossing foreign-language film of all time in the United States, earning USD128 million.

The event’s organizers describe the Pingyao festival as the country’s first “boutique festival”, with 40 unique films aired in its debut edition.

Pingyao will mark Müller’s return to China after he resigned from his role as IFFAM director in November last year, just weeks before the festival’s launch.

The organizing committee of IFFAM explained the resignation as “due to ongoing differences of opinion between him and [fellow organizer] Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association.”

In an interview with the Times, Müller described local organizers as “amateurs” and did not deny rumors among Macau’s filmmaker community that he had been obstructed by city officials “who know nothing about film.” DB

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