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    Edward Yang to be honored at Hong Kong festival

    HONG KONG (AP): Late director Edward Yang will be honored at the upcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival with a retrospective and a newcomer award in his name, organizers said Thursday.

    The festival will show several of the Taiwanese-American director's films, hold a seminar on his work and display his manuscripts, paintings and awards, according to the official festival program issued Thursday.

    The festival's Asian Film Awards will also launch ``The Edward Yang New Talent Award,'' with the inaugural prize going to Japanese director Yuya Ishii.

    Organizers said in a separate statement on their Web site that Yang's widow, Kaili Peng, and son Sean will present the award to Ishii in Hong Kong.

    Yang, an American citizen, died at his home in Beverly Hills on June 29 from complications from colon cancer. He was 59.

    Yang won the Cannes best director award in 2000 for ``Yi Yi,'' a film about a Taiwanese family coping with the serious illness of their elderly mother.

    The engineer-turned-director favored stories set in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. His works include ``A Brighter Summer Day,'' a 1991 film set in 1950s Taipei about Elvis-worshipping teenage boys who get involved with gangsters.

    The Hong Kong festival, scheduled to run from March 17 to April 6, in recent years has been overshadowed by South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival.

    Organizers of the Hong Kong event launched the Asian Film Awards last year to boost the festival's profile. This year they increased the festival's budget by several million Hong Kong dollars to HK$40 million (US$5.1 million; euro3.5 million).

    The Hong Kong festival will feature 19 world premieres _ still well short of the 66 that premiered last year at Pusan.

    The Hong Kong event will open with the Japanese film ``Kabei _ Our Mother'' and Taiwan's ``Soul of a Demon.'' It will close with Hong Kong's ``Coffee or Tea'' and ``Shine a Light,'' a Martin Scorsese documentary about the Rolling Stones.


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