August 29, 2007
By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's latest war epic drama "The Assembly" will open this year's Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) scheduled Oct. 4-12 in the southern port city, festival organizers announced Wednesday.

The 12th edition of PIFF, which has grown into Asia's major international film fest over the years, will close with "Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone", a big-screen version of the popular Japanese manga-based animation series.

Both films will have their international premier in Busan. "The Assembly" is adapted from a Chinese short story inspired by a news story. A soldier sets out on a journey determined to relocate the bodies and restore the honor of his comrades fallen during a deadly battle between the Communist People's Liberation Army and the nationalist Kuomintang Party during the Chinese Civil War.

The director Feng's filmography includes the 2006 historical drama "The Banquet", starring Zhang Ziyi, and the 2004 film "A World Without Thieves" starring Andy Lau. He was reportedly a fan of Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War", a South Korean war film highlighting a story of two brothers during the Korean War. So the South Korean special effects team for Taegukgi collaborated with the Chinese director for "The Assembly", and Seoul's MK Pictures shouldered part of the production.

"Evangelion 1.0" meanwhile, comes 10 years after the first theater-version debut of the popular Japanese TV animation series "Neon Genesis Evangelion". Directed by Hideaki Anno, the film will be released in Japan on Sept. 1.

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