Tokyo Filmex has announcedJia Zhangke's Venice Gold Lion winner StillLife as the opening film at this year's edition.

Jia's fifth feature focuseson the lives of couples and families set against the backdrop of the massiveThree Gorges Dam project in China. The film, which was not tipped to win but walkedaway with the top prize at this year's Venice, was also a controversial choice after it was addedto the Venice line-up half-way through the festival.

Tokyo Filmex, now in itsseventh year, made the announcement immediately following Still Life's win. The festival focuses on finding emerging talentfrom throughout Asia as well as featuring works by masters from Japan and around the world.

Filmex also screened Jia's Platform at its inaugural 2000 editionand Unknown Pleasures in 2002.

"We are very proud to havechosen Still Life as Filmex's openingfilm before it went on to win the GoldenLion at Venice," says Filmex director Kanako Hayashi. "When I sawJia's film, I knew it was the one, because it was so alive and filled withhumanity."

After taking top prize at Venice, Paris-based sales agent Memento Films secured worldwidesales duties for the film. Memento is also representing East (Dong), Jia'sdocumentary which takes place in the same Yangtze River setting. Both films were self-produced by Jia.

Tokyo Filmex runs fromNovember 17 to 26 in Tokyo's Yurakucho and Kyobashi districts.