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HKIFFS Celebrates Returns to Big Screen with CineFest

HKIFFS Celebrates

Return To Big Screen

With CineFest


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today announces a series of special in-theatre screenings to mark the reopening of cinemas in Hong Kong.


The CineFest series will feature films from the previously cancelled 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) and Cine Fan programmes, including this year’s Firebird Award winners.


Supported by Create Hong Kong and the Film Development Fund, all screenings will take place daily for five weeks from 30 September at K11 Art House in Tsim Sha Tsui.   


HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE said HKIFFS would announce weekly line-ups and screening schedules starting today.


“Despite this year’s cancellations and disruptions, we have not stopped anticipating ways to re-engage Hong Kong’s film-lovers and to share our choices and discoveries with them once the situation returns to normal,” Mr LEE said. 


To ensure public safety, HKIFFS will continue to comply with every in-theatre health measure mandated by the government and monitor the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong closely.


Tickets for the first week’s programme can be purchased at K11 Art House box office or online (www.uacinemas.com.hk) from 11:30am on 26 September.  Please check out HKIFFS’s official website (www.hkiff.org.hk) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hkiffs) for any update and programme details.     


CineFest Screening Schedule (30 Sep - 7 Oct)




HKIFF45 Announces Dates, Calls for Entries

HKIFF45 Announces Dates, Calls for Entries

HKIFF45 Announces Dates, Calls for Entries

The 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF45) will be held from 1 to 12 April 2021.  


In making the announcement, Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) Executive Director Albert LEE said preparation for the 12-day HKIFF45 was already underway and that his team was eager to rebound from a year hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic. 


Submissions for HKIFF45 are open today, and filmmakers from around the world may send in their features, documentaries, shorts and animated works for consideration.  The deadline for submission is 31 December, and any entry received on or before 13 November will enjoy an early-bird discount.


For details, please visit HKIFFS’s official website: www.hkiff.org.hk/society/#/Call_For_Entries_step



Ishii’s ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID Premiered at Pia, Next Stop Busan

Ishii’s ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID Premiered at Pia, Next Stop Busan

ISHII’s All the Things We Never Said
Premiered at Pia, Next Stop Busan

The world premiere of ISHII Yuya’s All the Things We Never Said took place last weekend at the 42nd Pia Film Festival in Tokyo. 


The film is the first to emerge from the B2B A Love Supreme initiative launched last year jointly by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and Heaven Pictures.  Other participating filmmakers in the six-film project include TSAI Ming-Liang from Taiwan, TAN Chui Mui from Malaysia, ZHANG Lu and YANG Jin from China, and Hong Kong’s Philip YUNG.


A story about love, friendship and broken dreams, All the Things We Never Said features three of Japan’s most exciting rising stars, including NAKANO Taiga, WAKABA Ryuya, and AKB48 alumni OSHIMA Yuko in her debut performance in a feature film.


All the Things We Never Said will open domestically in Japan on 3 October before making its international premiere and competing for the Kim Jiseok Award at the 25th Busan International Film Festival.  Commercial release in other territories, including Korea through D.O. Cinema, will follow shortly.


ISHII Yuya, who was in attendance at the premiere with his main cast, said he was excited to debut his latest film at the Pia Film Festival.  “Pia has always been serious about cinema and life,” Mr ISHII said.  “All the Things We Never Said is an independent film shot entirely on impulse but with a lot of souls.  It goes back to the basic of filmmaking and showing it at Pia is very significant and meaningful for me.”


Founded in 1977, Pia Film Festival is the most significant event in Japan for independent cinema and best known for its support of young filmmakers.  It has been a strong advocate of ISHII’s works, which include such contemporary classics as The Great Passage (2013) and The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (2017), since the earliest days of his career.


HKIFFS is also one of the early champions of the work of ISHII Yuya, presenting a four-title focus in as early as 2008.



First Online HAF Wraps With Awards Announcement

First Online HAF Wraps With Awards Announcement

First Online HAF Wraps With
Awards Announcement


The Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) concludes its first-ever virtual edition today by announcing ten winners who receive cash and in-kind awards worth more than HK$1,000,000. 

This year’s HAF, its 18th edition, was held over three days from 26 to 28 August in conjunction with Filmart Online.  Initially scheduled for March, the event had to move its dates following the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and switched to an online platform.

HAF is one of the leading film-financing platforms in the Asia-Pacific region.  This year’s edition showcased a record 54 projects, including 22 works-in-progress and another 32 in various stages of development or pre-production.  Investors, financiers, producers, distributors and buyers from around the world took part in the event and conducted online video meetings with filmmakers organised by HAF.

HAF Director Jacob WONG said the COVID-19 pandemic had presented an unprecedented challenge this year and his team had worked long hours for months to ensure that an online version of HAF18 could take place successfully.  “But it is vital that we continue to support and encourage filmmakers to tell their stories if we hope to understand the world we live in,” Mr WONG said.

Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Film Development Fund, Cinerent Beijing, White Light Studio, Udine Far East Film Festival, and HAF are the sponsors of this year’s awards, including two new cash prizes: the HAF Documentary Awards, which aims to encourage and promote the development of documentary projects, and the WIP Fiction Award, which focuses on originality and creativity.


Highlights of the award-winning projects are as follows:


1. HAF Fiction Awards (Presented by Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and HAF)

The HAF Fiction Awards offer cash prizes to one Hong Kong HAF fiction project and one non-Hong Kong HAF fiction project.  Another World (Hong Kong) and Stranger Eyes (Singapore) each receive HK$100,000.


2. HAF Documentary Awards (Presented by Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and HAF)

The HAF Documentary Awards aim to promote the development of documentary filmmaking.  Shimshon, Hasidic in Asia (Hong Kong, Isarel) and Waiting for Winter (Bangladesh) receive a cash prize of HK$100,000 each for their feasibility, appeal, and social relevance.


3. WIP Fiction Award (Presented by Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and HAF)

All WIP fiction projects are eligible for the newly-introduced WIP Fiction Award, and White Building (Cambodia, France) becomes its first recipient of HK$78,000 for originality and creativity.


4. WIP Documentary Award (Presented by Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and HAF)

All WIP documentary projects were eligible for the WIP Documentary Award which targets to encourage and promote documentary filmmaking.  For HAF18, it goes to I, Poppy (India) which receives a cash prize of HK$78,000.


5. Cinerent Award (Presented by Cinerent Beijing Ltd.)

Set out to support and encourage high-quality HAF projects to be shot in Mainland China, HAF18’s Cinerent Award goes to Song of Spring (China) which receives an in-kind award of RMB150,000.


6. Udine Focus Asia Award (Presented by the Udine Far East Film Festival)

Designed to encourage and facilitate film co-production between Asia and Europe, the Udine Focus Asia Award goes to The River Knows Our Names (Vietnam).  Earlier on, the project has participated in Focus Asia 2020 on invitation from the Far East Film Festival.


7. White Light Post-Production Awards (Presented by White Light Studio)

The White Light Post-Production Awards offer in-kind awards, valued at US$15,000 each, to one HAF project and one WIP project in recognition of their cinematic innovation.  The award-winners will receive post-production services from White Light Studio in Bangkok, Thailand.  This year, the awards go to Happy Journey and Last Will (China) from HAF, and The Neo-New Adventures (China) from WIP.


Please refer to Appendix 1 for a complete list of all the HAF18 award recipients.


For further details, please check out:

HAF: https://www.haf.org.hk/haf.php

WIP: https://www.haf.org.hk/wip.php

Operation Greenlight: https://www.haf.org.hk/operationgreenlight.php


For more information about HAF, please visit the official website at http://www.haf.org.hk/ and the HAF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hafhkiffs/.


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Appendix 1: The 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum Award List


1. HAF Fiction Award (Hong Kong Project)

Another World

Hong Kong

Director:NG Kai-chung

Producer:Polly YEUNG

Production Company:Point Five Creations


2. HAF Fiction Award (Non-Hong Kong Project)

Stranger Eyes


Director:YEO Siew Hua

Producer:Fran BORGIA, Dan KOH

Production Company:Akanga Film Asia


3. HAF Documentary Award (Hong Kong Project)

Shimshon, Hasidic in Asia

Hong Kong, Israel

Director:Sadie GRANBERG

Producer:Shmuel JUNGER

Production Company:Pop-up Film Limited


4. HAF Documentary Award (Non-Hong Kong Project)

Waiting for Winter


Director:Farid AHMAD

Producer:Salma SONIA

Production Company:Noyakar Productions


5. WIP Fiction Award 

White Building

Cambodia, France

Director:Kavich NEANG

Producer:Davy CHOU, Marine ARRIGHI de CASANOVA

Production Company:Anti-Archive, Apsara Films


6. WIP Documentary Award

I, Poppy


Director:Vivek CHAUDHARY

Producer:Vivek CHAUDHARY

Production Company:Unek Films


7. Cinerent Award

Song of Spring


Director:YANG Lina

Producer:LIAO Ching-Sung

Production Company:Moon Bear Culture Creative Studio


8. Udine Focus Asia Award

The River Knows Our Names


Director:Mai Huyen CHI

Producer:Bui Tran Thanh PHONG

Production Company:K’Noy Films


9. White Light Post-Production Award (HAF Project)

Happy Journey and Last Will


Director:DAI Xiaolu

Producer:HE Bin

Production Company:Ngorongoro Pictures (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.


10. White Light Post-Production Award (WIP Project)

The Neo-New Adventures


Director:QIU Jiongjiong

Producer:QIU Jiongjiong, DING Ningyuan

Production Company:Heaven Pictures Hong Kong Culture & Media Co., Ltd., Uluka Productions



“HAF Goes to Cannes” Shortlisted Projects


(i) The Borderlands


Director:Samarth MAHAJAN

Producer:Sunil DOSHI, Ashay GANGWAR

Production Company:All Things Small


(ii) Born to Be Second


Director:FAN Jian

Producer:Richard LIANG, S. Leo CHIANG

Production Company:FAN Film Studio


(iii) Dear Immigrants: How Was Your First Meal?

Hong Kong

Director:WONG Fei-pang

Producer:Diana CHEUNG

Production Company:Tonikaku Pictures Limited


(iv) Olympic Halftime

Czech Republic, Greece, Slovak Republic

Director:Haruna HONCOOP

Producer:Vít JANEČEK

Production Company:D1film


(v) Ningdu

Hong Kong, The Netherlands, USA

Director:LEI Lei

Producer:Isabelle GLACHANT, LEI Lei

Production Company:Chinese Shadows



HKIFF44 Announces Competition Winners

HKIFF44 Announces Competition Winners

Hong Kong International Film Festival Society
Announces HKIFF44 Competition Winners


ZHENG Lu Xinyuan’s The Cloud in Her Room and Lemohang Jeremiah MOSESE’s This Is Not a Burial, Its a Resurrection are named best films of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Firebird Young Cinema Competitions.


Both films also won the Best Actress awards in their respective section, with MOSESE’s film notching a third win by capturing the FIPRESCI Prize.


The 13 winners announced today by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) include The Painter and the Thief, which won the Firebird Award for Documentary, with Genius Loci taking home the prestigious award for Short Film.


Despite the cancellation of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) last month due to an upsurge in COVID-19 pandemic, HKIFF44’s Firebird competitions continued with online judging.


The jury for Young Cinema Competition (Chinese Language) commended ZHENG Lu Xinyuan’s The Cloud in Her Room for “weaving a girl’s private diary into a moving ode in a witty, minimalist style with maturity”.  JIN Jing, who stars as the director’s alter ego, was awarded Best Actress for her stunning debut performance.  LIANG Ming and WU Xiaoliang garnered Best Director and Best Actor awards respectively for the multi-layered, allegorical Wisdom Tooth.  The film demonstrates the director’s naturalistic aesthetics and the lead actor’s strength that comes from his tender heart. 


MOSESE’s This Is Not a Burial, Its a Resurrection, the first feature film shot entirely in his native Lesotho, was chosen as the Firebird Award winner of Young Cinema Competition (World) for crafting “a universal story of an African village caught between its history, tradition and the encroachment of the 21st century”.  The late Mary Twala MHLONGO, who plays the fearless widow in the film, was also named Best Actress.  Indian filmmaker Pushpendra SINGH received Best Director for deftly employing magical realism in The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs.  The Best Actor award went to Bakhtiyar PANJEEI of Iranian film The Alien, and Greek director Janis RAFA received a Special Mention for her debut feature, Kala Azar.


In the Documentary Competition, the jury unanimously awarded the Firebird Award to The Painter and the Thief by Norwegian director Benjamin REE, commending it for “extremely cinematic…mirroring the process of the painter’s search for realistic creativity”.  French filmmaker Emmanuel CAPPELLIN took the Jury Prize for Once You Know.


In the Short Film Competition, the jury selected French animation Genius Loci by Adrien MERIGEAU for the Firebird Award, praising it “unique in its artistic vision, its style and form also coherent with the content”.  Chinese filmmaker YUAN Yuan received the Jury Prize for Heading South.


This year’s FIPRESCI Prize went to MOSESE’s This Is Not a Burial, Its a Resurrection.  The film received a commendation from the jury for “its highly original combination of approaches…that invokes ancient storytelling traditions for its modern tale of grief channeled into social action”.  


The award winners can be seen in specially-prepared videos, accessible through HKIFFS’s official website www.hkiff.org.hk or via http://bit.ly/hkiff44_winners, sharing their thoughts and reaction.


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Appendix – List of Jurors and Award Winners


1. Young Cinema Competition (Chinese Language)

Jurors: Stanley KWAN (renowned director), O Sing-pui (director and cinematographer), May FUNG (independent art and cultural worker)




Director / Actor

Jury’s Comments

Firebird Award

The Cloud in Her Room

ZHENG Lu Xinyuan

In a witty, minimalist style with maturity, ZHENG’s debut is a delicate portrait of the new generation’s state of mind through a girl’s fragmented memory and estrangement. Oscillating between reality and fantasy, the film weaves a girl’s private diary into a moving ode, enriched by its exquisite black-and-white cinematography and JIN Jing’s stunning performance.

Best Director

Wisdom Tooth


LIANG Ming crafts a multi-layered, allegorical story, with maturity beyond a first-time director. A champion of naturalistic aesthetics, the delicate interaction between characters and landscapes along with an unobtrusive mise-en-scene draws one into various moods while maintaining a degree of intellectual detachment, deftly enhancing its metaphorical quality and elegance. 

Best Actor

Wisdom Tooth

WU Xiaoliang

Starring as the protagonist’s brother, WU Xiaoliang demonstrates the qualities of a man of honor. In the face of unemployment and his sister’s identity crisis, he dares to tackle the problems with ease - a strength that comes not from the physique, but his tender heart. 

Best Actress

The Cloud in Her Room

JIN Jing

Under ZHENG’s delicate direction, JIN Jing impresses with her composure and consummate control over body and facial languages. Her nuanced performance, with meticulous attention to details, is witnessed in her relationships with different characters, as well as her sensations in a city so familiar yet so foreign. 


2. Young Cinema Competition (World)

Jurors: LEONG Po-chih (pioneer Hong Kong New Wave director), Gina MARCHETTI (Professor of Comparative Literature, the University of Hong Kong), Sam HO (film programmer, researcher and critic)




Director / Actor

Jury’s Comments

Firebird Award

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Lemohang Jeremiah MOSESE

This film is a compelling mix of myth, magic, and realism. It resonates with raw emotion. A story-teller musician poet talks of an elderly woman’s wish to be buried in her village. The elderly woman’s private world is impressionistic, stylized. Hers is a universal story of an African village caught between its history, tradition and the encroachment of the 21st century.

Best Director

The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs

Pushpendra SINGH

This film marks a major milestone for director Pushpendra SINGH, who deftly employs magical realism to dramatize a tale of the indigenous people of the contested region of Kashmir. With keen attention to character, SINGH depicts Laila, the eponymous shepherdess, as more than an allegorical figure by portraying her as standing up as a woman to the men who try to limit her freedom.  

Best Actor

The Alien

Bakhtiyar PANJEEI

Bakhtiyar PANJEEI of The Alien, in a restrained but evocative performance, superbly embodies the difficult and complicated experience of his character, working in organic coordination with director Nader SAEIVAR’s stylized realism to animate the often conflicting conditions of human existence.

Best Actress

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Mary Twala MHLONGO

The legendary Mary Twala MHLONGO plays an 80-year-old woman determined to be buried with her dead family in her home village. Her still face hides so many emotions. Her acting is natural, yet so compelling, she owns this film. Not many 80-year-old women would strip to face an antagonist when she is forced to leave her village.

Special Mention

Kala Azar

Janis RAFA

This film is distinguished by the multisensory evocation of a world in which animals and humans share common urges, basic needs, and vulnerabilities to zoonotic diseases.  With an idiosyncratic outlook that seamlessly melds the perspectives of people and pets, RAFA does not shy away from the often unpleasant sounds, odors, tastes, textures, and sights that connect humans to animals through their shared mortality.



3. Documentary Competition

Jurors: Ruby YANG (Academy Award-winning director), Ruby CHEN (Co-Founder and CEO of CNEX Foundation Limited), Bryan CHANG (film critic, director and screenwriter) 





Jury’s Comment

Firebird Award

The Painter and the Thief

Benjamin REE

The film is extremely cinematic with flowing edits. Thoughtfully structured in acts one & two to illuminate both “seeing” and “perception”. The filmmaker mirroring the process of the painter’s search for realistic creativity, and slowly reveals the empathy and friendship between the unlikely protagonists. 

Jury Prize

Once You Know


The film is poetic, inquisitive, intertwined with provocative images and never predictable. Using a rare cinematic personal journal to share the filmmaker’s journey of questioning growth-based democracies and contemplates issues of climate change, fossil fuel as well as social justice, especially timely with the current pandemic.



4. Short Film Competition

Jurors: Derek Kwok-cheung TSANG (Hong Kong director, screenwriter and actor), CHENG Yu-Chieh (Taiwanese director, screenwriter and actor), Ana Isabel STRINDBERG (Co-director of Portugal Film)





Jury’s Comment

Firebird Award

Genius Loci


The film is a wholly original work of art that’s beaming with creativity. Not only is this animated short unique in its artistic vision, its style and form is also coherent with the content. The form becomes an essential part of the narrative. Visual poetry at its best.

Jury Prize

Heading South


The director demonstrates her ability to tell a moving story with permanent tension, which makes us reflect on nature and culture, through the eyes of a child. Also magnificent is the actors’ interpretation of the drama. This prize is a way to encourage the director to develop her cinematographic world in a feature film.




Jurors: Robert HORTON (American critic), Gideon KOUTS (French critic), Ann Lind ANDERSEN (Danish critic)





Jury’s Comment


This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Lemohang Jeremiah MOSESE

Set in a Lesotho village threatened by a dam project, the film uses a highly original combination of approaches: It’s about beautiful landscapes but also intensely-realized rooms; it’s awash with stylized colors but also documentary-like authenticity; and it invokes ancient storytelling traditions for its modern tale of grief channeled into social action. All of which relies on the intimate power of lead actress Mary Twala MHLONGO’s unforgettable face.




Operation Greenlight Announces Seven Projects, Goes Virtual

Operation Greenlight Announces
Seven Projects, Goes Virtual


Operation Greenlight today unveils seven projects by emerging Hong Kong filmmakers, all target to realising their artistic visions.

The initiative, organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society for Create Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Film Development Council, features a bespoke open pitching session to connect young filmmakers with industry professionals and potential investors.  Now in its 6th edition, Operation Greenlight will take place online on 27 August as part of this year’s Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) programme in conjunction with FILMART Online, the virtual edition of the 24th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market.

According to Mr Gary MAK, Secretary-General of the Film Development Council (FDC), the global COVID-19 pandemic had presented the organisers of this year’s Operation Greenlight, initially scheduled for March, with an unexpected challenge.

“However, we remain fully committed to showcasing local filmmakers’ story-telling which helps to illuminate us from a uniquely Hong Kong perspective,” Mr MAK said.  “It is more important than ever for us to continue to support creativity and nurture their careers during this difficult time.”    

The seven shortlisted projects all took part in the most recent edition of the First Feature Film Initiative (FFFI) organised by Create Hong Kong and FDC.  Leading up to Operation Greenlight, the young filmmakers have received advice from industry veterans on how to fine-tune and improve their presentations.

The online pitching session will target film industry professionals taking part in virtual HAF and FILMART events this year, including sales agents, distributors, producers, financiers, and film festival programmers.  Participants may also arrange private meetings with the filmmakers through the Operation Greenlight team.


This year’s shortlisted Operation Greenlight projects:

The Sunny Side of the StreetHong Kong-based Malaysian writer-director LAU Kok-rui’s first feature project looks at the tragic lives of fathers and sons crisscrossed under dire conditions.  A Hong Kong taxi driver takes a young refugee under his wing after he accidentally runs over the boy’s father, killing him.  The driver’s son, a police officer, helps his father by tampering with witness reports. However, the officer further complicates matters by implicating the young refugee in another death he causes accidentally.  Peter YAM Yin-cheung is producing the HK$7.8 million (approx. US$1 million) project.

Parental Guide: Co-directors Charis CHU Yeuk-hei and Ben LIU Ho-chi spin a modern allegory about newlyweds preparing to take a government-mandated exam to obtain a “parenting licence”.  Couples who fail the test are fined and prohibited from sending their children to prestigious schools.  CHU and LIU ask: “Would this hypothetical… exam motivate people to become better parents?”  The HK$8 million (approx. US$1.025 million) project is produced by celebrated director Alex LAW, whose Echoes of the Rainbow (2010) won a Crystal Bear for Best Film in the Generation Kplus at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.

Knockout: A drama about struggles and sacrifices from director Kurt CHIANG Chung-yu which looks at the lives of two Hong Kong boxers.  One, a middle-aged man, flees to Taiwan after an accident in the ring.  The other – who was caught because he had taken the law into his own hands – emerges from 20 years of imprisonment to find a society steeped in violence and injustice.  CHIANG says their lives “remind us of what Hong Kong has been through and make us reflect: Is destruction necessary for creation?  Is violence necessary for peace?”  Titus HO and LEE Cheuk-pan produce the HK$10 million (approx. US$1.3 million) project.

Disconnected: The debut directorial feature from Isabella LAM, which, in her words, “tells the story of a single parent repairing the connection with his daughter and restoring peace in the family”.  Hong Kong filmmaker CHEANG Pou-soi, director of the blockbuster Monkey King trilogy (2014, 2016 and 2018), who has shifted his attention to working with aspiring directors in recent yearsserves as producer of this HK$6 million (approx. US$770,000) project.

Do You Remember Me?: Legendary Hong Kong singer-actor Leslie Cheung, who died in 2003, serves as the inspiration for director Tony WONG Man-kit’s drama of three love stories intertwined by a tragic traffic accident.  The iconic star, who remains hugely popular 17 years after his death, embodies Hong Kong’s Golden Era, WONG says.  “Even though he has left this world, his works and legacy will live on forever.”  Kingman CHO, whose credits include Port of Call (2015), the closing film of the 39th Hong Kong International Film festival, is the producer of the HK$13.8 million (approx. US$1.8 million) project.

No One World“Who is the real me?” wonders Yellow WONG Chi-yeung in his debut feature.  He explores the answer to that question in a comedy about three slackers who pool their funds to buy lottery tickets.  They hit the jackpot but lose the winning ticket, leading to a circle of suspicion.  “We tend to reveal different layers of ourselves as we interact with different people to give and get respect,” WONG says.  When that happens, lying will serve as a mean to survive as “it is difficult for us to feel whole again.”  Renowned director/cinematographer O Sing-pui will produce the HK$6 million (approx. US$770,000) project.

Live on Without Me: The directorial debut of WAN Kar-wuen tells how a single Hong Kong mother keeps her secret romance with an indie musician from Taiwan away from the watchful eye of her young daughter.  WAN describes her HK$6 million (approx. US$770,000) project as a story about love and life.  It is also my own story to a certain extent,” she adds.  “Many of us have loved and been loved deeply and thoroughly.  Time passes, but hearts never forget.”  Multiple award-winning Taiwanese actress-director-screenwriter Sylvia CHANG produces.


Operation Greenlight - Hong Kong Young Filmmakers Pitch Session

Date: 27 August 2020 (Thursday)

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (Hong Kong Time)

Venue: www.hktdc.com/hkfilmart


Admissions Information:

Accredited FILMART and HAF guests are welcome to attend this virtual event.  However, we regret that there will be no admission for visitors aged under 18.


For more information about Operation Greenlight, please visit:



Complete Original Line-up of Cancelled HKIFF44 Revealed

Complete Original Line-up of Cancelled HKIFF44 Revealed

Complete Original Line-up of
Cancelled HKIFF44 Revealed


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today unveils the complete original line-up of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44).


HKIFF44 was cancelled last month following the recent spike in COVID-19 infected cases in Hong Kong.  The 14-day cinephile extravaganza was due to start from 18 August.


According to HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE, more than 185 titles from 55 countries and regions were selected originally for HKIFF44, including 53 world, international, and Asian premieres.  “While we are unable to screen these films publicly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still happy to share our team’s choices and discoveries with our audience,” said Mr LEE. 


HKIFF44 covers a broad spectrum of distinguished classics and exciting new works from all over the world.  Among this year’s highlights is Roman POLANSKI’s An Officer and a Spy, a retelling of France’s Dreyfus Affair which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 76th Venice Film Festival.  In Voices in the Wind, which received a special mention at Berlinale Generation, promising Japanese actress Serena MOTOLA evokes profound emotions throughout her cathartic journey under SUWA Nobuhiro’s elegant direction.


Christian PETZOLD’s Undine is a tale of fantasy and humor galvanized by the magnificent performance of Berlinale Best Actress Paula BEER.  Her Korean counterpart, KIM Min-hee, also draws us into women’s delicate inner world in The Woman Who Ran, with which HONG Sang-soo was named Best Director at Berlinale.  The late Raúl RUIZ’s unfinished debut feature, The Tango of the Widower and Its Distorting Mirror, is rediscovered and completed by his widow and collaborator, Valeria SARMIENTO, after half a century. 


Renowned documentarian HARA Kazuo continues to probe with his two new works: Reiwa Uprising follows the election campaign of a new political party formed by marginalized communities, and Minamata Mandala delves into the lingering pain of residents suffering from mercury poisoning.


In the Fantastic Beats section, Eliza HITTMAN shows extraordinary sensitivity to young women’s plight in unintended pregnancy in Never Rarely Sometimes Always, the winner of this year’s Berlinale Grand Jury Prize.  Likewise, LIU Kuang-Hui boldly explores the forbidden passion of two high school classmates and the persecution they faced in Your Name Engraved Herein.


Equally fascinating from the Midnight Heat section are two hot picks for the young and adventurous audience: First Love, an unconventional yakuza comedy from cult favorite MIIKE Takashi, and TEZKA Macoto’s Tezuka’s Barbara, featuring pop idols INAGAKI Goro and NIKAIDO Fumi as a dangerously sexy couple. 


Animation lovers, too, would have much to enjoy: from the enchanting and beautifully hand-painted romance of Bombay Rose to Anca Damian’s playful celebration of the incomparable bond between human and their four-legged friends, Marona’s Fantastic Tale.


Earlier, HKIFFS had disclosed the three world premieres – MAN Lim-chung’s Keep Rolling, Joseph HSU’s Little Big Women, and YUKISADA Isao’s The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese – which would have bookended this year’s festival.  Also announced were four specially-curated programmes, including a tribute honoring Michael HUI, HKIFF44’s Filmmaker in Focus; a full retrospective of Federico FELLINI; a celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Film Foundation; and Journey Through Italian Cinema, featuring restored classics from the world-renowned Cineteca di Bologna.   


HKIFF44’s full line-up is available in the link: https://bit.ly/hkiff44fullprog


HKIFFS Announces Competitions Jury Members

HKIFFS Announces Competitions Jury Members

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Announces Competitions Jury Members


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today unveils a glittering line-up of Firebird Awards competitions and FIPRESCI prize jury members.


The announcement follows the decision to continue with the competitions despite the earlier cancellation of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) due to an escalation in COVID-19 cases.  Through online judging, five panels of independent juries will select a total of 13 winners from the 42 competition titles.  HKIFFS will announce the results on 20 August.


Leading the jury for the Young Cinema Competition for Chinese Language Films is revered Hong Kong director Stanley KWAN, who has been an iconic figure in local and international cinema for decades.  Joining him are fellow director-cum-cinematographer O Sing-pui; and acclaimed independent art and cultural worker May FUNG.  Together they will identify four winners among the emerging talents in recent Chinese language cinema.


Making up the jury panel for Young Cinema Competition for World Cinema are three distinguished industry figures: LEONG Po-chih, renowned new wave director for his pioneering works both locally and overseas; Professor Gina MARCHETTI of the University of Hong Kong, a specialist in film and cultural studies; and prominent film programmer, researcher and critic, Sam HO.


Three equally illustrious veterans form the Documentary Competition jury panel:  Ruby YANG, the Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short Subject with The Blood of Yingzhou District; Ruby CHEN, Co-Founder and CEO of CNEX Foundation Limited, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting documentaries in Chinese language regions; and Bryan CHANG, a notable film critic, director and screenwriter who has produced several independent films and books on cinema.  


Hong Kong filmmaker Derek Kwok-cheung TSANG, whose sophomore film, Better Days, garnered eight Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director, joins the jury panel for the Short Film Competition.  He will select two winners from 18 short films with his fellow jurors: Taiwanese director, producer, writer and actor CHENG Yu-Chieh, whose Dear Tenant was chosen initially for the cancelled HKIFF44’s Gala Premiere section; and Ana Isabel STRINDBERG, co-director of Portugal Film, and a member of IndieLisboa’s selection committee.


For the FIPRESCI prize, three renowned international film critics – Robert HORTON from the USA, Gideon KOUTS from France, and Ann Lind ANDERSEN from Denmark – will form the jury to select the winner. 


“While we cannot publicly screen any of the competition films at the moment, we are pleased that we can still go ahead with their online judging,” HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE said.  “It is important that we can continue to highlight talented young filmmakers who deserve recognition and accolades for their outstanding works.  Of course, we are most grateful to all jury members for their devotion and support.”




HKIFF44 Firebird Awards Competitions Jury Members

Young Cinema Competition (Chinese Language)

1. Stanley KWAN
2. O Sing-pui
3. May FUNG


Young Cinema Competition (World)

1. LEONG Po-chih
3. Sam HO


Documentary Competition

1. Ruby YANG
2. Ruby CHEN
3. Bryan CHANG


Short Film Competition

1. Derek Kwok-cheung TSANG
2. CHENG Yu-Chieh
3. Ana Isabel STRINDBERG



1. Robert HORTON
2. Gideon KOUTS
3. Ann Lind ANDERSEN



HKIFFS Announces Original Line-up, Confirms Competitions to Continue

HKIFFS Announces Original Line-up, Confirms Competitions to Continue

HKIFFS Announces Original Line-up,
Confirms Competitions to Continue


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today unveils some of the highlights of its original programme for the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44), including the three world premieres which would have opened and closed the festival. 


HKIFFS also confirms that this year’s Firebird Awards and FIPRESCI Prize competitions will proceed with online judging, with plans to announce the winners on 20 August.


The 14-day flagship HKIFF44, postponed from March, was scheduled to begin on 18 August.  It was cancelled last week following the recent spike in COVID-19 infected cases in Hong Kong.  HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE said the decision to announce the original programme is to pay tribute to filmmakers whose works merit continuous support and recognition. “We have come across many outstanding films during our year-long preparation for HKIFF44,” said Mr LEE. “By highlighting these films, we hope to promote and champion the art of cinema, even beyond the festival.”  He said HKIFFS would announce the complete HKIFF44 line-up shortly.


HKIFF44 was due to kick off with the world premiere of two exceptional works from Hong Kong and Taiwan:  MAN Lim-chung’s Keep Rolling, an intimate documentary on the revered Hong Kong filmmaker Ann HUI, the recipient of a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Film Festival, and Joseph HSU’s Little Big Women, a heartrending family drama featuring an ensemble cast of prominent Taiwanese actresses.  A third world premiere, The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese, an empathetic adaptation of a popular anime series by the acclaimed Japanese director YUKISADA Isao, starring OKURA Tadayoshi and NARITA Ryo, was to close the festival.


Several exciting new films were to showcase in HKIFF44’s Gala Premiere section.  They include Days, Taiwanese master TSAI Ming-Liang’s Teddy Jury Award winner at Berlinale.  Celebrated director YONFAN was to present a new director’s cut of No.7 Cherry Lane, his first foray into animation and the winner of Best Screenplay at last year’s Venice Film Festival.  Equally intriguing was Shadows, a psychological crime thriller set in Hong Kong by Singaporean filmmaker Glenn CHAN in his feature debut.  Hong Kong director Kit HUNG was to present his sophomore feature, Stoma, based on an autobiographical screenplay of the late cultural icon Julian LEE.  Also under the spotlight was Dear Tenant by Taiwanese director CHENG Yu-Chieh, another thrilling drama with which MO Tzu-Yi was named Best Actor at the Taipei Film Festival.


In the Firebird Awards competition, 42 films would vie for 12 awards in four categories – namely Young Cinema (World), Young Cinema (Chinese Language), Documentary and Short Film – and a panel of an Independent jury in each category will decide.  Separately, a jury comprised of international film critics will award the FIPRESCI Prize to an outstanding film.


“We are actively looking into the possibility of including some of this year’s selection in future programming when Hong Kong returns to normal after the pandemic, especially those taking part in the Firebird Awards competition,” Mr LEE said.  


HKIFF44 Galas and Firebird Awards

Download e-Booklet: www.hkiff.org.hk/upload/file/Galas_Firebird_Awards.pdf


HKIFF44 Firebird Awards competition line-ups


Young Cinema Competition (Chinese Language)

1.         Stoma by Kit HUNG
2.          Be Alive Just Like You by LAI Meng-Jie
3.         The Cloud in Her Room by ZHENG Lu Xinyuan
4.         Wisdom Tooth by LIANG Ming
5.         Damp Season by GAO Ming
6.         Wild Swords by LI Yunbo
7.         Summer Is the Coldest Season by ZHOU Sun
8.         All About ING by HUANG Zi


Young Cinema Competition (World)

1.         Piedra Sola by Alejandro Telémaco TARRAF
2.         The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs by Pushpendra SINGH
3.         The Alien by Nader SAEIVAR
4.         Kala Azar by Janis RAFA
5.         Exile by Visar MORINA
6.         Los Conductos by Camilo RESTREPO
7.         Dust and Ashes by PARK Hee-kwon
8.         This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection by Lemohang Jeremiah MOSESE 


Documentary Competition

1.         Zero by SODA Kazuhiro
2.         Little Girl by Sebastien LIFSHITZ
3.         Acasa, My Home by Radu CIORNICIUC
4.         Born to Be by Tania CYPRIANO
5.         i -Documentary of the Journalist- by MORI Tatsuya
6.         Once You Know by Emmanuel CAPPELLIN
7.         The Painter and the Thief by Benjamin REE
8.         This Is Not a Movie by Yung CHANG


Short Film Competition

1.         Bare Trees in the Mist by Rajan KATHET
2.         99’s by LEE Hong-rae
3.         Genius Loci by Adrien MERIGEAU
4.         All Cats Are Grey in the Dark by Lasse LINDER
5.         Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen PHAN
6.         Summer Ball by Cíntia Domit BITTAR
7.         Austral Fever by Thomas WOODROFFE
8.         Life Between the Exit Signs by Nicolas PINADEUS
9.         Something to Remember by Niki Lindroth von BAHR
10.         Prelude of the Moving Zoo by Sorayos PRAPAPAN
11.         Bab Sebta by Randa MAROUFI
12.         Heading South by YUAN Yuan
13.         The Elephant in the Car by Ikram NURMEHMET
14.         Dear Joel by Thanasis TROUBOUKIS
15.         Keep Forgetting by SHIBATA Takahiro
16.         The Furniture Maker by David AVILÉS
17.         Aggregate States of Matters by Rosa BARBA
18.         Mutts by Halima OUARDIRI



HKIFF44 and Cine Fan Cancelled, HAF18 Goes Online

HKIFF44 and Cine Fan Cancelled, HAF18 Goes Online

HKIFF44 and Cine Fan Cancelled,
HAF18 Goes Online


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) has cancelled this year’s festival in response to the recent upsurge in local COVID-19 infected cases.


HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE also confirmed the cancellation of Cine Fan’s September/October bi-monthly programme.  However, the 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) will still take place online from 26 to 28 August.


The flagship 14-day 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44), which would have incorporated this year’s Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival, was due to start in less than four weeks on 18 August.  But there were uncertainties when the number of COVID-19 cases escalated in the past week. 


“While it is tremendously deflating, given all the hard work that we have put in,” said Mr LEE.  “The well-being of our colleagues and the public is of the utmost importance to us.  Calling off HKIFF44 is heartbreaking, but we believe we have a duty to act with social responsibility.”


Mr LEE thanked the support of all participating filmmakers, as well as the festival’s many stakeholders, sponsors, and partners.  “We will start working on the next edition of the festival straight away.  We are determined to make up for the ‘lost’ HKIFF44,” he said.  




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