Italian director Liliana Cavani and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai are to receive Golden Lions for their work at this year's Venice International film Festival, the board of directors of the Biennale announced on Monday (March 27).
The decision was taken on the recommendation of festival director Alberto Barbera.
In accepting his offer, Leung said: "I am overwhelmed and honoured with the news from the Biennale di Venezia. I hope to celebrate this award with all the filmmakers I have worked with. This award is a tribute to all of them as well."
The actor has starred in three films to have won the Golden Lion: A City Of Sadness from 1989 by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Cyclo from 1995 by Tran Anh Hung, and Lust, Caution from 2007 by Ang Lee.
In 2000, he received the Best Actor award at the Cannes film Festival for In The Mood For Love.
In his citation, Barbera described Leung as "a charismatic performer in the course of an exceptional transnational career."
His roles had spanned a great variety of genres and bridged television, popular culture, and art-cinema, he said.
Meanwhile, Cavani, 90, in accepting the offer said: "I am very happy and grateful to the Biennale di Venezia for this wonderful surprise,".
She gained a name for herself in Venice in 1965 with Philippe Pétain: Processo A Vichy, which received a Lion of San Marco for the best documentary.
Other films of hers shown in Venice include Francis Of Assisi in 1966, Galileo in 1968, The Year Of The Cannibals in 1970, Ripley's Game in 2002 and Clarisse in 2012. Cavani is also known for The Night Porter starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling from 1974.
Barbera described Cavani as "one of the most emblematic protagonists of the New Italian Cinema of the 1960s, whose work has spanned over 60 years of showbusiness history."
The Venice film festival is the oldest of its kind. Its highest award is the Golden Lion for the best film. This year's winner will be announced during the 80th festival being held between August 30 and September 9. – AFP