Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou has spoken out about Steven Spielberg's decision to quit as artistic director to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, calling his resignation "quite regrettable". Zhang was working with Spielberg on orchestrating the opening and closing ceremonies for August's (08) sports event, before the legendary director announced on 12 February (08) that he had decided to withdraw his involvement with the event. Spielberg released a statement explaining his decision was a result of China not doing enough to help end the genocide in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. In his statement, Spielberg said: "This has been a very difficult decision for me, as I have cherished the relationships with my Chinese counterparts, in particular ... Zhang Yimou, who is a close personal friend." On Monday (03Mar08), Hero director Zhang was quoted by the China News Service as saying Spielberg's withdrawal was "quite regrettable" but would not have any effect on the games, which are to be held between 8 and 24 August.