There’s recognition of the rise of Asia’s movie industry in the list of jurors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The eight-member panel, presided over by Robert De Niro, features Hollywood stars Uma Thurman and Jude Law—as well as two Hong Kong filmmakers. “I think it’s a great honor,” says 60-year-old producer Nansun Shi, who joins director and fellow Hong Konger Johnnie To on the jury. “It speaks a lot about Hong Kong filmmakers of a certain generation—a certain vintage—that Cannes would find it appropriate.”
Hong Kong’s movie scene has been well represented on the Cannes jury in recent years, by Maggie Cheung in 2007, Wong Kar-wai in 2006 and John Woo in 2005, for instance. But to have two jurors in a single year is a first.
During a career spanning three decades, Ms. Shi has been behind some of Asia’s biggest commercial hits, most recently director Tsui Hark’s “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.” Film Workshop—the company she founded with Mr. Tsui in 1984—has produced classics such as “Once Upon a Time in China,” starring Jet Li, and John Woo’s “A Better Tomorrow” and “The Killer,” both starring Chow Yun-fat. Ms. Shi is a regular presence on the international film-festival circuit. She spoke with The Wall Street Journal ahead of Cannes, which opened Wednesday and continues through May 22.