Program includes retrospective of Chinese helmer

BOSTON — Zhang Yimou will be the first recipient of the $10,000 Coolidge Award in May. Created to showcase filmmakers and the restored Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Mass., honor will be presented at a ceremony at the art deco venue in late May.

As part of the Coolidge program, a monthlong retrospective of Zhang’s works will be shown, as well as classes and programs related to them. Helmer’s works include such international hits as “Ju Dou,” “Red Sorghum” and “Raise the Red Lantern.” The Coolidge had its biggest box office take at the time of “Red Lantern,” and that moviegoer support was one of the reasons he was selected for the premiere prize.

Yimou will receive an award plus the cash prize and participate in some of the programming May 26-27. Initial funding for the award came from the Patricia Larsen Foundation, which granted the Coolidge $100,000 to underwrite the first 10 awards. Other contributors have signed on as well.

Intent is to pick a recipient each year representing another aspect of the Coolidge’s film program and not necessarily limit it to foreign or arthouse directors.

Program and ticket information will be announced on the theater’s Web site, www.coolidge.org.

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