Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-wai will be the first Chinese actor to receive the Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement at the 80th Venice Film Festival, which will be held from August 30-September 9 this year. This award has previously been presented to two Hong Kong filmmakers: John Woo in 2010, and Ann Hui in 2020.
“I am overwhelmed and honoured with the news from the Biennale di Venezia. I hope to celebrate this award with all the filmmakers I have worked with. This award is a tribute to all of them as well,” said Leung in a statement. The actor has also starred in three prior Golden Lion recipients: A City of Sadness (1989), Cyclo (1995), and Lust, Caution (2007).
It has been an eventful year for Leung as he was awarded the Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Busan International Film Festival in 2022, and won the Best Actor Award and the Asian Film Contribution Award at the recently held 16th Asian Film Awards.
Leung has starred in several blockbuster films, most notably Infernal Affairs (2002) co-starring Andy Lau, which also had two sequels. The original film was remade by Martin Scorsese in 2006, and won the Oscar for Best Picture the following year.
The news of Leung’s win comes two weeks after Malaysian-Chinese actress Michelle Yeoh — who first rose to fame in Hong Kong action films in the 1990s — won the Oscar for Best Lead Actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once at the 95th Academy Awards.
Italian Director Liliana Cavani will also receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
Header image credits: Lucie Otto-Bruc via Flickr