/ News / Press Release
/ News / Press Release
HKIFF42 to Open with Omotenashi and Xiao Mei and Close with What a Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife, My Life


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) announced today the full line-up of the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF42) at its press conference held at The Mira Hong Kong. Its opening night on 19 March will be illuminated by two gorgeous films from two promising Taiwanese directors – Omotenashi, directed by Jay CHERN and Xiao Mei, directed by Maren HWANG. Closing film will be the World Premiere of What a Wonderful family! 3: My Wife, My Life, the latest work from the acclaimed comedy series by the Japanese master YAMADA Yoji. The festival, which runs for 18 days from 19 March to 5 April, will present over 230 titles from 60 countries and regions. The line-up is as eclectic as ever, boasting 63 World, International and Asian Premieres.


With a mission of championing young and promising talents, HKIFF42 is pleased to showcase the feature debuts of two Taiwanese filmmakers as opening films. Omotenashi is a co-production of Japan and Taiwan with up-and-coming Taiwanese director Jay CHERN, which offers a heartwarming portrayal of the younger generation learning to appreciate the cultural differences and traditional values through love and respect.  CHERN is coming with the leading actress TANAKA Rena and leading actor WANG Po-Chieh will join us at the Grand Opening. The second opening film, Xiao Mei, directed by Maren HWANG, brilliantly juggles elements of film noir and suspense in exploring the riddle of identity and truth through the mystic tale of a vanished girl. HWANG and “XiaoMei” JAO Cincin will also join the Grand Opening. Veteran director YAMADA Yoji continues his success in What a Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife, My Life, the third instalment of his amusing series that playfully exposes the changing values and behavior within contemporary Japanese society. The world premiere of this much anticipated film will bring a delightful conclusion to this year’s Festival.


The “Filmmaker in Focus” this year is Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia, one of the most distinguished actresses in Chinese language cinema. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of her career since her screen debut, HKIFF42 will showcase 14 of her films including the new restoration of her first film Outside the Window. LIN will share her insights on film and life in the “Face to Face” seminar.


Werner HERZOG, one of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, will attend HKIFF42 and conduct a Master Class. His first visit to the Festival will be honored by a retrospective of his films, giving local audiences a rare opportunity to watch his classics, including four of his greatest cinematic achievements and his latest documentary Into the Inferno, which reflect his frantic imagination and poetic stylization.


HKIFF is also pleased to present the Hong Kong premiere of HTC’s first virtual reality (VR) Chinese language film, The Deserted. This groundbreaking work is directed by Taiwanese master TSAI Ming-Liang, with the support of HTC VIVE, ZOTAC Computer, and the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film. TSAI and Golden Horse Award winner LEE Kang-Sheng will lead the Hong Kong audience through an unparalleled eye-opening VR experience, and share their visions of this cinematic innovation in a Master Class.   


In addition to the two masters, the Japanese documentarian HARA Kazuo, known for his highly original and controversial films, will bring his latest work Sennan Asbestos Disaster and meet the audience in a Master Class. Several world-renowned directors will also visit Hong Kong for screenings of their films. Acclaimed American independent filmmaker Sean BAKER, with his celebrated new film The Florida Project, will share his filmmaking experience. KAGAWA Kyoko, the legendary Japanese actress of the MIZOGUCHI Kenji masterpiece A Story from Chikamatsu, and OZU Yasujiro’s classic Tokyo Story will share her collaborations with the giants of Japanese cinema following the screening of the newly restored classic. The late Filipino master, Ishmael BERNAL, will be featured in the Restored Classics section, and his longtime screenwriter, Ricky LEE, will also meet the audience to share his insights.  


Cinephiles can enjoy a number of internationally award-winning films firsthand at the HKIFF. These include In the Fade, winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and Cannes Best Actress Award for Diane KRUGER’s powerhouse performance; Joaquin PHOENIX took home the Cannes Best Actor Award with You Were Never Really Here, which won the Cannes Best Screenplay Award alongside The Killing of a Sacred Deer; as well as Cannes Jury Prize winner and Oscar-nominated Loveless. Award winners from the Venice Film Festival include Grand Jury Prize winner Foxtrot, Special Jury Prize winner Sweet Country, Best Director award winner Custody, Best Actress Award for Charlotte RAMPLING in Hannah, and Best Actor Award for Kamel EL BASHA in The Insult. The Berlinale award winners include Grand Jury Prize for Mug, Outstanding Artistic Contribution Award for Dovlatov, winners of FIPRESCI Jury Prizes for River’s Edge and An Elephant Sitting Still, the latter also won Special Mention for Best First Feature Award.

Multifaceted Argentine and Danish films open up new frontiers in the international scene. HKIFF42 is pleased to celebrate the achievement of Lucrecia MARTEL, a major auteur and forceful leading light of New Argentine Cinema, by showcasing four of her acclaimed works, including Zama, her latest and multiple award-winning film. In the New Danish Cinema section, six outstanding films will be showcased, including Thelma, a chilling psychological thriller from director Joachim Trier, the topical Borg/McEnroe, and Winter Brothers, winner of four major awards at the Locarno International Film Festival.  

The Awards Gala Night will be illuminated by the international premiere of Transit, directed by acclaimed German auteur Christian PETZOLD. The French Night will feature Custody, helmed by the Venice Best Director winner Xavier LEGRAND, who will come to Hong Kong to greet the audience. HKIFF is also pleased to present the Canadian film Ava, a feature debut about women’s fight for independence by Sadaf FOROYGHI, who will meet the audience at the screenings.


To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Polish independence, HKIFF42 will present a prelude programme “70 years of Polish Animation: Live Animation x Music”. The programme will feature celebrated Polish filmmaker-animator Mariusz WILCZYŃSKI with live hand-drawn animation while the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will present fabulous music under the baton of Polish conductor Sebastian PERłOWSKI.

Due to overwhelming response, HKIFF has decided to continue with the “Audience Choice Award”, which was first launched last year. All audiences who vote for their favorite films will have a chance to enter into a lucky draw and win prizes with total value over HK$10,000.   

A full list of the HKIFF42 programme is available at www.hkiff.org.hk. Tickets for the public can be booked online at www.hkiff.org.hk and all URBTIX and HK Ticketing outlets from 2 March.





Festival Period: 19 Mar – 5 Apr 2018

Ticket Sales Start: 2 Mar 2018

Airline Partner: Hong Kong Express

Car Partner: Volkswagen Hong Kong



No. of Screenings: 377

No. of Films: 233

No. of Countries/Regions: 60

No. of World Premieres: 3

No. of International Premieres: 11

No. of Asian Premieres: 49 


Programme Highlights

1.         Opening Films:

         Omotenashi - directed by Jay CHERN, starring TANAKA Rena, WANG Po-Chieh, YO Kimiko. .

         Xiaomei - directed by Maren HWANG, introducing JAO Cincin as Xiaomei.


2.         Closing Film:

         What a Wonderful Family 3: My Wife, My Life - directed by YAMADA Yoji, starring HASHIZUME Isao, YOSHIYUKI Kazuko, NATSUKAWA Yui, AOI Yu.


3.         Filmmaker in Focus: Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia
HKIFF42 will screen fourteen (14) of Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia’s films and publish a book to celebrate her remarkable achievement in cinema. LIN will also attend the “Face to Face” session to be held at
5:00pm on 31 March at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The session is sponsored by Hong Kong Arts Development Council and supported by Kwang Hwa Information and Culture Centre. Festival’s long-termed partner, Moleskine, will once again to publish two (2) special editions of HKIFF X Moleskine X Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia notebooks – Red and Limited White editions.


4.         Master Class: Werner Herzog

Werner HERZOG will attend HKIFF42 with his latest documentary, Into the Inferno. During the Festival, four (4) of his restored classics will be showcased, including Nosferatu the Vampyre and Fitzcarraldo. HERZOG will conduct a Master Class for the public. This special programme is supported by Goethe-Institut Hongkong, Hong Kong Documentary Initiative and German Films.


5.         Master Class: TSAI Ming-Liang

Co-organised with HTC VIVE, the Academy of Film of Hong Kong Baptist University and ZOTAC Computer, HKIFF42 is pleased to introduce the Hong Kong premiere of TSAI Ming-Liang’s The Deserted, HTC’s first virtual reality (VR) Chinese language film. TSAI Ming-Liang and LEE Kang-Sheng will attend a Master Class, to be held at 5:30pm on 2 April at the Communication and Visual Arts Building of Hong Kong Baptist University.


6.         Master Class: HARA Kazuo

The Japanese documentarian HARA Kazuo will bring along his latest film Sennan Asbestos Disaster, and attend a Master Class. HKIFF42 will also showcase two of his classic documentaries Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1984 and The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On.


7.         The late Filipino master Ishmael BERNAL will be featured in the Restored Classics section. His longtime screenwriter, Ricky LEE, will attend post-screening discussion to share his insights.  


8.         The American independent director Jean BAKER will bring his celebrated new film, The Florida Project, to HKIFF42 and attend a post-screening discussion.


9.         HKIFF42 will present the restored version of MIZOGUCHI Kenji’s A Story from Chikamatsu. The legendary actress, KAGAWA Kyoko, will attend the face-to-face session.


10.     One of Festival’s popular sections, I See It My Way, will showcase 5 Asian films including River’s Edge directed by YUKISADA Isao, starring NIKAIDA Fumi; The Ringside Story directed by TAKE Masaharu, starring Eita and SATO Eriko; and the Indonesian hit, Posesif, which got 10 nominations at the Indonesian Film Festival.


11.     The Festival is pleased to present four (4) of Argentine director Lucrecia MARTEL’s acclaimed works, including her latest and multiple award-winning film, Zama, and her first feature work, The Swamp.  


12.     New Danish Cinema section will present 6 movies including Thelma and Under the Tree, both of which represented Norway and Iceland respectively to compete at the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.


13.     Chinese Cinema Now section features two selected projects from Youku and Alibaba Pictures’ Early Bird New Director Film Fund – Sunshine that Can Move Mountains and Looking for Lucky. Also showing in this section is The Widowed Witch, which won Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. 


14.HKIFF42 will present ten (10) restored classics, from the philosophical musings in Wings of Desire (Wim WENDERS) and The Rise and Fall of a Small Film Company (Jean-Luc GODARD) to the irresistible beauty of Belle de Jour (Luis BUNUEL) and La Belle Noiseuse (Jacques RIVETTE), and the harsh reality in Struggling (SHI Dongshan) and Yol – The Full Version (Yilmz GUNEY).


15.Co-presented with Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau and UniFrance, The French Night will feature the award winning film Custody. The director Xavier LEGRAND will attend the screening and meet the audience.


16.With the support of Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong & Macao, HKIFF42 will show the Canadian film Ava, which depicts Iranian women’s fight for freedom and independence. The director Sadaf FOROUGHI will attend the screening and meet the audience. 


17.Jointly presented by HKIFF and NHK WORLD, the NHK WORLD Documentary Special Screenings programme features two of Japan’s most distinguished masters – MIYAZAKI Hayao, the Oscar-winner on Never-Ending Man: Hoyao Miyazaki, and HOKUSAI Katsuhika, the legendary ukiyo-e artist on The Lost Hokusai. Through the documentaries, audience will discover the spirits behind the infinite creativity and unyielding passion of the two maestros. Both screenings are free to the public.


18.In collaboration with HKIFF, Swarovski presents its documentary, WaterSchool at a special screening. The documentary is about six (6) girls living along the Amazon, Nile, Mississippi, Danube, Ganges, and Yangtze Rivers, who learn about water and sustainability and use their knowledge to protect their communities and homes. 


19.Presented by Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, co-presented by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the University of Hong Kong, the Festival’s prelude programme, “70 years of Polish Animation: Live Animation x Music” will take the audience to an exceptional journey through Polish animation and music under the baton of Polish conductor Sebastian PERłOWSKI and the established Polish film-animator, Mariusz WILCZYŃSKI.  The concert will be held on 16 March at the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Hall of The University of Hong Kong and is free to the public.


The event is organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand within the international cultural programme of POLSKA 100, and is financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme “Niepodległa” 2017-2021.


21.With the support of the government and our sponsors, the Festival continues to make the film festival affordable and accessible to the Hong Kong public under our Audience Development Programme


(a)     Present 7 community screenings in our outreach programme;

(b)    Provide over 100 Chinese subtitled screenings, over half of our total screenings;

(c)     Offer affordable student discount at $28 per ticket to all films in the festival.


22.     For the Audience Choice Award, the audience can vote for their favorite films (excluding short films and films of free community screenings) and participate in a lucky draw. All voters will have a chance to win one (1) Acer laptop Nitro 5 (worth HKD8,998); another winner will be selected from the participants who have voted for the “Audience Choice Award” winning film and will be awarded with one (1) 2019 Cine Fan patron privilege (worth HKD10,000, including one VIP Pass of HKIFF43). The winners will be invited to the Awards Gala of HKIFF42 to be held on 2 April 2018.


23.     Watch a film at HKIFF42 to enter the Daily Surprise Lucky Draw! There will be a Lucky Draw every day during the HKIFF42 screenings from 20 Mar to 5 April, with seventeen (17) surprises awaiting the festival goers. A lucky audience member will be selected before each screening to receive a surprise gift. Audiences from the 17 selected screening sessions will also enter the Grand Lucky Draw for the final prize.



24.The Juries for HKIFF42 Firebird Awards and FIPRESCI Prize are:


         Firebird Award – Young Cinema Competition:

         Mani HAGHIGHI, SUWA Nobuhiro, Kent JONES and Cecilia YIP Tung


         Firebird Award – Documentary Competition:

         Anand PATWARDHAN, Peter YUNG and Ken SMITH 


         Firebird Award – Short Film Competition:

                Nuno RODRIGUES, Adam WONG Sau Ping and TSENG Wei-chen 



Stay in Touch
Receive news about HKIFF films, events and more.