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Famed director Jia Zhangke to open arthouse theater

03-14-2012 16:54 BJT

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing News reported Wednesday that director Jia Zhangke plans to open his own arthouse movie theater in Beijing.

The paper cited a Sunday entry from Jia's microblog on Weibo.com, a popular Chinese microblogging site.

""I went to the eastern part of Beijing to select a site this afternoon. The 100-seat theater can be built next year," Jia wrote.

Jia, winner of the 2006 Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion award for his film "Still Life," told the Beijing News that the theater is still being designed, adding that next year will be the earliest possible time for the theater to open.

Jia said he does not expect the theater to turn a profit. "In a worst-case scenario, I will use money made elsewhere to compensate for the theater's losses," he said.

Jia said the biggest obstacle for this theater is a lack of approved art films, particularly imported films.

"I'd like to import more films like Iran's "A Separation" if the import quota could be relaxed," he said.

Arthouse theaters are scarce in Beijing, with only the Broadway Cinematheque, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and China Film Archive serving the needs of artistically-inclined moviegoers.

Jia Zhangke, a graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, has been dubbed by critics as a leading figure in China's "sixth generation" of film directors, who often employ improvisational techniques with non-professional actors to better capture everyday experiences in contemporary China.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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