Chinese director Zhang Yimou is ready to accept the consequences of breaking the country's strict 'one-child' policy after confessing to fathering three kids with his current wife. The Flowers of War filmmaker owned up to the legal violation earlier this month (Dec13) and in a new joint interview with his wife, Chen Ting, he insists he is open to paying a hefty fine to make amends for his actions.
He tells state news agency Xinhua, "As a public figure, I and my wife must assist the sweeping investigations by the family planning authorities and also are willing to make a public apology."
However, Zhang claims they never meant any harm and simply wanted to have a more traditional family life: "My father told me prior to his death that he hoped I could have a son to continue the family line and my mother also believed that with more children, they could have more companions."
Authorities investigating the case sent Zhang a letter on Saturday (28Dec13), outlining the details of his monetary punishment, a "social compensation fee" which is based on the household's annual income. He is said to have earned $590,000 (£393,330) a year around the time each of his children were born, which could amount to a fine of $1.2 million (£800,000).
Meanwhile, Zhang is also facing a $164 million (£109.3 million) lawsuit from two attorneys who have decided to take action against the director themselves, despite having no official connection to the case.
Jia Fangyi and Guo Chengxi decided to sue earlier this month (Dec13) as part of a protest against wealthy Chinese citizens who willingly break the rules.
The Chinese government introduced the family planning policy in 1979 to prevent population growth spiralling out of control.
However, the legislation, which has long been opposed by human rights activists and religious groups, is only now being re-evaluated as the nation faces an ageing population.
Politicians approved a motion to ease the one-child policy this week (ends27Dec13) as part of a reform package, which would allow couples where either parent has no siblings to have two kids.
Acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou has been slapped with a $164 million (£109.3 million) lawsuit from two attorneys after confessing to flouting the country's strict 'one-child' policy. Government officials launched an investigation into the claims in May (13) after reports suggested The Flowers of War moviemaker had secretly fathered seven kids from two marriages and other relationships - a violation which could land him a fine of $26 million (£17.3 million) if found guilty.
Authorities have yet to reveal their findings or file charges against Zhang, who admitted last Sunday (01Dec13) to having three children with his current wife, Chen Ting, so now lawyers Jia Fangyi and Guo Chengxi - who are not officially connected to the case - have decided to take action themselves.
They claim their lawsuit is part of a protest against wealthy Chinese citizens who willingly break the rules.
Jia tells the Associated Press, "We made the move because the government failed to fulfil its duty in protecting the public interest. We believe that more and more rich people in China are having more children with money, therefore leaving a destructive effect on China's efforts to control population."
The Chinese government introduced the family planning policy in 1979 to prevent population growth spiralling out of control. The legislation has long been opposed by human rights and religious groups.
People found to have violated the restrictive law are subject to pay a "social compensation fee" based on their annual income.
Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen has won the top prize at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards for his directorial debut. Ilo Ilo was named Best Feature Film at Saturday's ceremony in Taipei, beating competition from Johnnie To's Drug War, Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin, The Grandmaster from Wong Kar Wai, and Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs.
The drama, about a maid's awkward relationship with her employers, also earned Chen Best Original Screenplay and Best New Director honours, while its star, Yeo Yann Yann, was named Best Supporting Actress.
The accolades will give Chen a big boost ahead of the 2014 Oscars, where Ilo Ilo, which was a winner at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May (13), has been put forward as Singapore's official entry for the Foreign Language Film award.
It was also a big night for Wong Kar Wai - martial arts film The Grandmaster claimed Best Leading Actress for Zhang Ziyi, in addition to four other wins in craft categories, while Stray Dogs landed Best Director for Tsai Ming-liang and Best Leading Actor for Lee Kang Sheng.
Best Supporting Actor went to Xuejian Li for Back to 1942.
The winners for the Golden Horse Awards, which celebrate the best in Chinese-language cinema, were decided by a jury led by Oscar winner Ang Lee.