The PusanInternational Film Festival (PIFF) has announced that Taiwanese filmmaker HouHsiao-hsien (City Of Sadness, MillenniumMambo) will be presented with its Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award.

This is the secondtime that the festival has bestowed this honour, following the inaugural awardgiven to Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf last year. It recognises a filmmaker who has done themost over the past year to further the development of Asian film industry andculture.

Hou's latest work Cafe Lumiere is scheduled to receive its international premiere inthe main competition of the Venice International Film Festival, and will alsoscreen in Pusan.

The film, produced by Shochiku andstarring Yo Hitoto and Tadanobu Asano, is an homage to Japanese directorYasujiro Ozu in honour of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The director is quoted as saying, "Itried to think how Ozu himself would have shot a film in today's Japan."

Festivalorganisers pointed to the strength of Hou's latest offering and the spirit ofinterchange between Asian cultures it represented as deciding factors inbestowing the prize.

Director Hou isscheduled to be in attendance at the PIFF, which runs this year from October7-15, to receive his award in person.