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Perhaps Love to open San Francisco

The 49th San Francisco International Film Festival (running April 20 to May 4) will launch on April 20th with the US Premiere of PERHAPS LOVE, the first film from Hong Kong to open the Festival. The film will have its gala screening at the historic Castro Theater, one of the grandest and most beautiful cinema palaces in the country. The film, directed by Hong Kong auteur Peter Chan, will kick off 15 days of movie magic as the oldest film festival in North America again unspools in the City by the Bay.

PERHAPS LOVE had its World Premiere at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, and was nominated for 8 Hong Kong Awards, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Actress. The film was Hong Kong's selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. In addition, lead actress Zhou Xun (BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS, SUZHOU RIVER) won the coveted Hong Kong Film Critics Society award as Best Actress.

Joining Zhou Xun is an amazing pan-Asian superstar cast, including Hong Kong singer/actor Jacky Cheung (JULY RHAPSODY, ASHES OF TIME), Japan's Takeshi Kaneshiro (HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) and Korea's Jee Jin-hee (IF YOU WERE ME). The film boasts striking photography by master cinematographers Chris Doyle (2046, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) and Peter Pau (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON).

Told through a kaleidoscope of flashbacks and film-within-a-film musical numbers, the film is a lavish and heartfelt romantic triangle set in Shanghai and Beijing, with choreography by Bollywood's acclaimed Farah Kahn (MONSOON WEDDING, VANITY FAIR).

Director/producer Peter Chan (who previously presented his film ALMOST A LOVE STORY at the Festival in 1997) will be present for the gala screening, along with special guests San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and visiting Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who will both officially open the Festival.

The film screening will be followed by the Gala Opening Night party, which will be held at the Regency Center, a multi-floored dining hall in one of San Francisco's most beautiful and historic Beaux Arts buildings. Party goers will indulge in great food, fabulous beverages, live music and dancing.

"We are very excited to open the Festival for the first time with a film from Hong Kong", San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Graham Leggat announced. "The film is an ambitious and richly satisfying work, full of artistry in every frame, in its unique blend of Asian and Western musical and romantic cinematic influences."

The full program for the 49th edition of the San Francisco International Film Festival will be announced at a Press Conference tomorrow, and we will dutifully report on this landmark event's abundance of cinematic pleasures.

Check out our blog with festival dailies

Sandy Mandelberger, Industry Editor


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