Thisyear's Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 22 - April 6) plans tocelebrate the 100th anniversary of Chinese cinema by screening a digitallyremastered version of Stanley Kwan's 1992 period drama Centre Stage.

Theaward-winning film, one of a series of special digital presentations at thefestival, stars Maggie Cheung as 1930s Chinese actress Ruan Lingyu. Kwan andCheung are both set to attend.

The29th edition of the festival, one of eight events at the upcoming Hong KongEntertainment Expo, will screen 240 films from 41 countries.

Itopens with two films that screened in competition at Berlin - Gu Changwei'sSilver Bear winner Peacock and Yoji Yamada's The Hidden Blade - and closes with Jia Zhang-ke's The World and Alain Corneau's Words In Blue.

Thefestival will also feature the local premiere of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A VeryLong Engagement - part of a FrenchDay and Cultural Evening organised in partnership with the Hong KongInternational Film & TV Market (FilMart).

Sidebarsinclude "Chinese Renaissance" and "Hong Kong Panorama", showcasing recent filmsfrom mainland China and Hong Kong; a tribute to Japanese director KinoshitaKeisuke and a series of youth-oriented films [si]@hkiff.

ProlificHong Kong star Andy Lau is the actor in focus in a programme featuring 11 ofhis more than 100 films.

Thefestival will also feature a series of outdoor screenings - including Kung-fuHustle and The Edukators - at the harbour-front Tamar site in centralHong Kong.

Thisyear also marks the first time that the HKIFF is privately run. The festival,which was previously under the auspices of the Hong Kong Arts DevelopmentCouncil, now operates as a non-profit making private organisation.

Itstill receives government funding, albeit a reduced amount, and has made up theshortfall with corporate sponsorship.