‘Tiger’ to open Vancouver fest

150 films from 50 countries to be screened

VANCOUVER — Director Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh, will open the 19th Vancouver Intl. Film Festival, which runs Sept. 22-Oct. 5.

About 150 films from 50 countries will be screened in eight venues, up from six last year. Projected audience is expected to remain at 135,000, although the fest will run three days shorter than in 1999, fest director Alan Franey told Daily Variety.

Five main programs will be featured: The Cinemas of East Asia, Canadian Images, Nonfiction Features of 2000, Cinemas of Our Time and Walk on the Wild Side — a series of midnight movies.

“Protection,” a gritty film by Bruce Spangler focusing on the harsh realities facing social workers dealing with child abuse cases, will be the first of eight B.C. feature films in the Canadian Images program.

The Vancouver fest is the largest showcase of Canuck films anywhere.

Reflecting Vancouver’s multicultural audience will be the largest ongoing program of Pacific Asian films in North America.

The complete film roster will be announced on Sept. 6.

The associated Film and Television Trade Forum will run Sept. 27-30.

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