1. ShoWest 2001 to Honor Ang Lee and Michelle Yeoh

    By David Winter on 2001-03-02

    LOS ANGELES–(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)–March 2, 2001–Academy Award-nominated director Ang Lee and international action star Michelle Yeoh will be honored at the ShoWest 2001, it was announced today by Robert Sunshine, chairman of Sunshine Group Worldwide (SGW), which operates the event.

    Lee, whose “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was recently nominated for 10 Academy Awards, has been named International Filmmaker of the Year, and Yeoh, who stars in the critically acclaimed film, has been named International Star of the Year. Both will receive their awards at the International Day Luncheon, held at the Bally’s and Paris Hotels in Las Vegas on March 5.

    ‘Time and again, Ang Lee has shown himself to be a director of tremendous vision and range,’ said Sunshine. ‘We are thrilled to honor someone whose artistry surpasses the boundaries of language and culture.’

    Regarding Yeoh, Sunshine added, ‘We are overjoyed to be honoring Michelle Yeoh, who is garnering such well-deserved attention for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” She is a true pioneer in her craft, never failing to captivate audiences with her powerful grace.’

    Since premiering at the 2000 Cannes Film festival, Lee’s ballistic martial arts epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” has become a critical and audience favorite, picking up a total of 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Foreign Language Film of the Year and Achievement in Directing. The film has also garnered a Best Picture Award at the Toronto Film Festival and Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director.

    A veteran of the festival circuit, Lee also premiered his 1997 film, “The Ice Storm,” at the Cannes Film Festival before it went on to open the New York Film Festival. The piercing drama, which starred Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire, became one of the year’s best-reviewed movies.

    In 1995 Lee captivated audiences with his lively adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant. Cited on more than 100 critics’ ‘Ten Best’ lists, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning for Best Adapted Screenplay. “Sense and Sensibility” also won awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay Adaptation at the Golden Globes and for Best Picture at the 1996 Berlin Film Festival, and was named Best Picture by the Boston Film Critics and the National Board of Review. In addition, Lee was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review.

    Born and raised in Taiwan, Lee began his feature career in 1992 with “Pushing Hands,” the first in his “Father Knows Best” trilogy. The film screened at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to win Best Film at the Asian-Pacific Film Festival and to receive nine Golden Horse Awards nominations, the Taiwanese equivalent of the Oscar.

    Lee’s next two films in his trilogy brought him to the attention of American audiences. “The Wedding Banquet” received six Independent Spirited Awards, top honors at the 1993 Berlin Film Festival and Best Foreign Language Film nominations at the Academy and Golden Globe Awards. “Eat Drink Man Woman” was selected as the opening night feature for the Directors Fortnight series at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and was named Best Foreign-Language Film by the National Board of Review.

    As a seasoned warrior knight in Lee’s martial arts epic, Yeoh has dazzled critics and audiences alike. Yeoh next will turn to producing the action thriller “The Touch” through her production company, Mythical Films, which was launched last year in partnership with Hong Kong-based Media Arts.

    An icon in Asian cinema for more than a decade, Yeoh became a household name in the U.S. with her commanding performance in the 1997 James Bond blockbuster “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Prior to that, she starred in a string of martial arts hits, including “The Butterfly Sword” and “Project S,” and became the highest-paid actress in Hong Kong-cinema history for her co-starring role in Jackie Chan’s hugely successful “Police Story III: Supercop.”

    Yeoh was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, and graduated from London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dance. She got her first break in 1984 when Jackie Chan invited her to appear with him in a commercial. After making her feature debut in the comedy “Owl vs. Dumbo,’ Yeoh underwent rigorous martial arts training to prepare for the action thriller “Yes Madam,” for which she insisted on performing her own stunts. The film’s success, as well as that of the subsequent “Tai Chi Master” and “Heroic Tale,” established her as Asia’s foremost female martial arts star. In 1999 Yeoh was honored with an Award for Excellence from CineAsia, an organization of Asian filmmakers.

    ShoWest 2001 will be held from Monday, March 5 through Thursday, March 8 at Bally’s and Paris Hotels in Las Vegas.

    Celebrating its 27th year, ShoWest is the world’s largest motion picture industry convention. Each year, ShoWest attracts delegates from more than 45 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. ShoWest is managed by Sunshine Group Worldwide, operators of ShowEast, Cinema Expo and CineAsia.