EVENT | 19/03/2018
The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival made a glittering start tonight (19 March) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Opening Ceremony was illuminated by eminent guests, including the directors and casts from Omotenashi and Xiao Mei, the two HKIFF42 opening films; German master filmmaker Werner Herzog; and Festival Ambassador Louis Koo. They joined the officiating guests, Wilfred Wong, Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, and Bernard Chan, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, to kick off the 18-day festival.
Winning the Best Actor Award at the Asian Film Awards, Louis Koo, who has served as Festival Ambassador for the fifth consecutive year, stressed that a good story is at the heart of every successful film. Paradox, his award-winning film, is a good example of how a simply story inspires and moves audience with its touching narrative.
With a mission of championing promising directors, HKIFF42 showcases two debut features from two young Taiwanese directors. Filmmaker Maren Hwang talked about the challenges in producing his debut feature, Xiao Mei, one of the opening films. Actor Chen Yi-Wen complimented the director for being courageous and allowing the actors to perform freely. New actress Jao Cincin, who plays the role of Xiao Mei, expressed that she has lived through the pain the lonely girl has experienced, and immersed her character with deep emotions.
Up-and-coming Taiwanese director Jay Chern explained his concept behind Omotenashi, another opening film. This heartwarming portrayal of the younger generation learning to appreciate the cultural differences and traditional values came from his own experience, gained during his upbringing in the USA. Actress Tanaka Rena, in fluent Mandarin, said she enjoyed working with actors and crews from different nationalities and cultures, and looked forward to participating in other Asian films. Actor Wang Po-Chieh experienced the true spirit of Omotenashi (meaning “hospitality”) during the shooting, as he had to communicate with and pay close attention to the actors and crews who come from different cultures.
After a toast on the stage, HKIFF42 was officially kicked off with the International Premiere of Omotenashi and the Asian Premiere of Xiao Mei.