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/ Accreditation /Press Release
Press Release

SummerIFF Showcases the World of Mamoru HOSODA Festival will open with MIRAI

Following Cine Fan’s retrospective of the late Japanese animation legend Isao TAKAHATA, the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) will showcase a special programme of Mamoru HOSODA - the Japanese anime master of the new generation. His latest feature, Mirai, the first Japanese animated work ever to receive a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, will be the opening film of SummerIFF, which also features four of his acclaimed works. HOSODA will come to Hong Kong for a master class, leading fans into a world of boundless imagination and fascinating stories. 


The special programme, entitled “The World of Mamoru Hosoda,” celebrates the unparalleled achievement of the renowned director as he blazes a new path for Japanese hand-drawn animation. Opening the SummerIFF, Mirai (2018) is his latest ambitious exploration of the circle of life via a single family. This magnificent tale, which centers on a 4-year-old boy taken by his sister from the future into a series of surprising adventures, epitomizes HOSODA’s spellbinding mix of time leap, futuristic fantasy and familial affection.


Hailed as the next MIYAZAKI Hayao, HOSODA attracted international attention with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), a romantic fantasy that transforms the coming-of-age story into an openhearted fable. Summer Wars (2009) continues to dazzle audiences and critics alike for its eccentric and whimsical imagination of both digital and real worlds. Produced under his own animation house, Studio Chizu, Wolf Children (2012) and The Boy and the Beast (2015) further establish his signature style – a strong sense of family ties, and the growth to greater maturity through perseverance. His ingenuity of combining realistic settings with futuristic stories has earned him global recognition and awards, placing him as one of the leading anime directors in Japan today. The presentation of these earlier acclaimed works from 14 August onwards will give Hong Kong audiences an opportunity to revisit HOSODA’s creative oeuvre as a prelude to his visit and the premiere of his new film.


HOSODA will meet the audience after the screening of Mirai on 18 August, and will also attend a master class after the screening of The Boy and the Beast on 19 August to share his creative insights.


In addition, an exhibition under the same title will be held from 14 to 27 August at Ocean Terminal, featuring his character designs, sketches of structures as well as re-created sets from his celebrated works.


SummerIFF 2018 will be held from 18 to 28 August. The full programme will be revealed on 23 July with tickets on sale on 24 July. 




The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is pleased to announce that winner of its Firebird Award will automatically become eligible for Oscar consideration in the Documentary Feature category. The Japanese entry Of Love & Law directed by TODA Hikaru, the Firebird Award winner at this year’s HKIFF, will be the first HKIFF entry qualified for next year’s Oscar.


The Academy Awards, or the Oscars, is one of the most prestigious honors in the world of film given by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Films considered for Oscar nomination need to meet the Academy’s strict rules such as public commercial screenings in the United States. Feature films can also qualify if they win at selected international film festivals.


This year, the Academy has established a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List.  Documentary films that win designated juried documentary awards at select festivals will automatically become eligible for Oscar consideration in the Documentary Feature category.  HKIFF is one of the select festivals that is included in the Academy’s pioneering Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List.  Films that win in the HKIFF’s Documentary Competition – Firebird Award will now be eligible for Oscar consideration this year.


“We are delighted to be chosen by the Academy as a qualifying festival – it is an honor for Hong Kong and a recognition of our pioneering work in promoting Asian documentaries in particular over all these years,” said Roger Garcia, Executive Director of HKIFF Society. “This now adds to the attraction and importance of our Firebird Award and we look forward to next year’s entries.”


Delighted at the news, director TODA said, “It's great to be recognized by such a great platform as HKIFF and to be given an opportunity to reach a wider audience.”


Entries for all sections of next year’s HKIFF will open on 20 August. Details to be announced later. 


Cine Fan June/July Programme Features Retrospectives of Ingmar BERGMAN and Isao TAKAHATA

Cine Fan June/July Programme Features Retrospectives of Ingmar BERGMAN and Isao TAKAHATA

Although the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival has concluded successfully, audiences can continue to enjoy a strong selection of films in the Cine Fan June/July programme, featuring the works of two legendary masters in cinema and animation - Ingmar BERGMAN and Isao TAKAHATA. In addition, a selection of acclaimed cop dramas will be presented in the special programme “Beyond the Long Arm of the Law”.


Ingmar BERGMAN, the legendary Swedish master developed a unique cinema of angst and existential drama questioning the value of relationships and the existence of god. His impact on filmmakers from the second half of the 20th century to today has been wide-ranging and profound. On the centenary of Bergman’s birth (he was born in 1918), Cine Fan launches a retrospective programme entitled “Faith and Faithfulness” in honor of the cinematic genius. Presenting eight of his timeless classics in its June/July programme, the selection includes two of his most acclaimed and influential works, The Seventh Seal (1957) and Wild Strawberries (1957); The Virgin Spring (1960), winner of Oscar Best Foreign Language Film; the 5-hour TV full version of Scenes from a Marriage (1973); the complete version of Face to Face (1976), shown for the first time in Hong Kong; and The Magic Flute (1975), one of his most graceful and lighthearted opera films. Searching for Ingmar Bergman (2018), a new documentary directed by famed German filmmaker Margarethe VON TROTTA, will also be offered to cinephiles for free. More iconic works will be shown in Cine Fan September/October programme.    


Passing away in April this year, Isao TAKAHATA, the Japanese animation master who co-founded Studio Ghibli with MIYAZAKI Hayao, has set a high benchmark for animators across the world. His animations never lost sense of the magical despite being so vivid and detailed in their realism. In the “Remembering Isao Takahata” programme, Cine Fan showcases five of his celebrated animations, including Grave of the Fireflies (1988), hailed as one of the greatest anti-war films ever; Only Yesterday (1991), a reflection of childhood memories and the mixed feelings of growing up; Pom Poko (1994), a parable reflecting ecological concerns in whimsical fantasy; My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999), a celebration of mundane life through a series of vignettes; and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013), an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, and a masterpiece of beautiful fantasy and solitary meditation.  


“Beyond the Long Arm of the Law” features eight cop thrillers, including three restored classics – M (1931) by Fritz LANG, the prototype for all serial killing crime films; Oscar Best Picture In the Heat of the Night (1967) and Fargo (1996), winner of Cannes Best Director Award for Joel COEN and Oscar Best Actress Award for Frances MCDORMAND. Other not-be-missed films include Jean-Pierre MELVILLE’s final masterpiece Dirty Money (1972), John WOO’s The Killer (1989) and Venice Golden Lion Best Film Fireworks (1997) by Kitano TAKESHI. Furthermore, two restored classics, Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The French Connection (1971) will be brought back to the screen. This thematic programme is tailored for Tai Kwun, the new additional venue for Cine Fan which is an impressive architectural renovation and reinvention of the historic Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road.


Three seminars for the three programmes will also be organized. Audiences are welcome to join these free seminars to share the insights of renowned film critics. 



Aaron KWOK Fu-shing Appointed HKIFF43 Ambassador

Aaron KWOK Fu-shing Appointed HKIFF43 Ambassador

4 May 2018 (Hong Kong and Cannes) – Renowned actor, singer and “King of Dance” Aaron KWOK Fu-shing has been appointed Festival Ambassador of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43), which will open in mid-March next year.


"We are honored that Mr. KWOK has accepted our invitation to be HKIFF43 Ambassador," said Roger GARCIA, Executive Director of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. "Mr. KWOK’s impressive career in film, music and the entertainment industry has made him a household name in Asia.  He received the Best Actor award at Hong Kong Film Awards for the chilling thriller Port of Call, which was the closing film of HKIFF39 in 2015. He has twice won Best Leading Actor in the Golden Horse Awards for action-crime film Divergence (2005) and the moving father-and-son drama After This Our Exile (2006). His keen interest in nurturing young directors and artists makes him the ideal choice to help promote Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) to the world," GARCIA said.


"I am delighted to be HKIFF43 Ambassador to promote appreciation of film culture," said Aaron KWOK. "Every year, HKIFF attracts movie-goers and entertainment industry professionals around the world; I strongly encourage people to take part in this celebrated film event."  


List of Past Festival Ambassadors:

HKIFF38-42 (2014-2018): Louis KOO Tin-lok
HKIFF35-37 (2011-2013): Miriam YEUNG Chin-wah
HKIFF33 (2009): Karen MOK
HKIFF32 (2008): Sammi CHENG Sau-man
HKIFF29-30 (2005-2006): Andy LAU Tak-wah 
HKIFF27 (2003): SHINE


HKIFF42 Comes to a Fruitful Conclusion - Film Screenings Continue in Cine Fan and Summer IFF

HKIFF42 Comes to a Fruitful Conclusion - Film Screenings Continue in Cine Fan and Summer IFF

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival comes to a fruitful conclusion today, after screening over 230 titles from 60 countries and regions in 18 days. By popular demand, additional screenings of some be-loved films will continue to take place on 6-7 April. Afterwards, audiences nevertheless can continue to enjoy a strong selection of films in the Cine Fan April/May programmes and the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) which will run from 14 August. The 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival will be held from 18 March 2019.


HKIFF42 closes with the world premiere of What a Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife, My Life, the latest episode of the acclaimed comedy series by Japanese master YAMADA Yoji. In this third instalment, Yamada playfully exposes the changing values and behavior within contemporary Japanese society. The comedy brings a delightful conclusion to this year’s Festival. 


Werner HERZOG, in his first visit to HKIFF42, stirred up a fever among fans, who were captivated by his charismatic talks and masterpieces. Cine Fan Apr/May programmes will continue this frenzy, presenting some of his most acclaimed works, including Fitzcarraldo (1982), with which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, and its making of, Burden of Dreams (1982); his award-winning documentaries -- Where the Green Ants Dream (1984), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), and Grizzly Man (2005); Oscar nominee Encounters at the End of the World (2007); as well as Cobra Verde, his last collaboration with Klaus Kinski. Dracula fans will be exceptionally delighted to watch three restored classics by F.W. MURNAU, HERZOG and Francis Ford COPPOLA in one go.


Cinephiles embracing films from distinguished female directors will be excited by the “Jane Campion, the Authentic Feminist” programme in Cine Fan. The first and only female filmmaker ever to have won a Cannes Palme d’Or with The Piano (1993), CAMPION is honored in a selection of seven of her acclaimed films, including An Angel at My Table (1990), the Venice Grand Special Jury Prize winner; The Portrait of a Lady (1996) starring Nicole Kidman; Holy Smoke (1999) featuring Kate Winslet; her latest crime mystery series Top of the Lake (2017), and her pre-Sweetie (1989) debut Two Friends (1986), which is shown in Hong Kong for the very first time. 


A full list of the Cine Fan programmes is available at http://cinefan.com.hk/. Tickets are now on sale in all URBTIX outlets. Details of SummerIFF will be announced later.


HKIFF42 Award Ceremony honors filmmakers with five awards Professional jurors and nominees attend the ceremony

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF42) Award ceremony, held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, announced the winning films in five award categories, including: three events under the Firebird Award Competition——“International Short Film Competition” sponsored by JIA SCREEN, the “Documentary Competition” and the “Young Cinema Competition”“FIPRESCI Prize” and “Audience Choice Award” as well.


In addition, each competition was judged by an independent jury, including renowned Japanese director Mr. SUWA Nobuhiro; Iranian filmmaker Mani HAGHGHI; Kent JONES, Artistic Director of The New York International Film Festival; Cecilia YIP, two-time winner of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress; Indian political documentarian Anand PATWARDHAN; celebrated Hong Kong photographer, director, producer and cinematographer Peter YUNG; critic of Asian performing arts Ken SMITH; Nuno RODRIGUES, a co-founder and the artistic director of the Portuguese film festival Curtas Vila do Conde; TSENG Wei-Chen, illustrious film critic and scriptwriter; local director Adam WONG, winner of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best New Director (see Appendix for complete list of jurors). The winner of the “Audience Choice Award” in the 42nd HKIFF was voted by audiences online.

The Young Cinema Competition seeks to encourage young filmmakers to explore the potential of the cinema as a powerful medium of our times. Eight films from a range of countries, including South Korea, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, China and Japan competed for the awards. The coveted Firebird Award was given to Girls Always Happy, directed by YANG Mingming from China. The jurors praised “A film that explores similar territory from a very different angle, that builds in richness and complexity and humour and insight as it goes, a film that is tough and tender, all at once, and endlessly rich and surprising.” Daughter of Mine directed by Laura BISPURI won the Jury Prize, “A film that sings with the rhythms and the wonders of the natural world” as commented by the jurors.


Filmmakers around the world embrace the documentary genre to help audiences reflect on aspects of real life conflicts and to address social issues. The Documentary Competition recognizes filmmakers for their devotion and contributions to creating documentaries that inspire audiences. The jury unanimously awards the Firebird Award to Of Love & Law directed by TODA Hikaru: “Through solid activist filmmaking, TODA captures the singular quirks of the Japanese legal system while emphasizing the need for diverse expression in any conformist society” The Jury Prize was awarded to The Distant Barking of Dogs directed by Simon Lereng WILMONT from Denmark. The jurors cited that the “Director delivers a palpable pacifist message in the figure of the boy’s grandmother, who avoids taking sides but remains an unmovable object in the path of war.” Mama directed by JIN Xingzheng from China received Special Mention. The jurors spoke highly of its creativity: “Jin Xingzheng’s account of an octogenarian mother’s care for her violent, mentally ill son unfolds as an extreme case of traditional family values that are fading in the age of modernity”


The short film is a unique genre for filmmakers to express their creativity and to experiment with the possibilities of expression in a limited timeframe. This year, the Short Film competition is sponsored by web-based JIA SCREEN which was founded by renowned director JIA Zhangke, who is committed to the development of the short film genre. The Short Film Competition Firebird Award winner was selected from 19 entries this year. The jurors praised the winning film Wicked Girl by Ayce KARTAL from Turkey as “a moving poem of a little girl's memory, beautiful yet painful” The Burden directed by Niki Lindroth VON BAHR from Sweden was awarded the Jury Prize. The jurors recognized this film as “A musical comedy which is played by anorexic animals and is against the consumption society, also metaphorizes our world as a galactic zoo on its way to perdition”.


FIPRESCI is an association of national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world. The FIPRESCI Prize recognizes enterprising filmmakers and promotes young talent in Asian cinema. The award this year went to Girls Always Happy directed by YANG Mingming “Through biting dialogues and playing the heroine herself, the director presents a vivid picture of urban values and culture in modern China, without overstating nor sugar-coating her main characters' flaws, and shows a self-assurance of tone that is remarkable for a first feature” as complimented by the jurors.


The popular “Audience Choice Award” is voted by audiences as in previous years, by an enthusiastic number of voters. An Elephant Sitting Still, directed by HU Bo, obtained the highest voting score from the audience, and won the debut “Audience Choice Award”.  An audience member who voted for it was selected from the lucky draw and won the 2019 Cine Fan Patron Privilege prize worth HK$10,000; another winner from the all the participants was selected and won the one Acer laptop NITRO5 which worth at HKD8,998.


TSAI Ming-Liang and LEE Kang-Sheng kick off the Hong Kong Premiere of VR film, The Deserted

TSAI Ming-Liang and LEE Kang-Sheng kick off the Hong Kong Premiere of VR film, The Deserted

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival coordinates with HTC VIVE, the Academy of Film of Hong Kong Baptist University and ZOTAC to showcase the Hong Kong premiere of Tsai Ming-Liang’s The DesertedHTC’s first virtual reality (VR) Chinese language film. The guests who attend the premiere including Golden Horse Award Best Director Tsai Ming-Liang; Golden Horse Award Best Leading Actor LEE Kang-Sheng; Vice President of HTC Virtual Reality Content Center  Szuming LIU; Eva MAN, Director of Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University; MAN Shu Sum, Associate Director of Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University; Ernest SIU, Assistant Global Marketing & PR Manager of ZOTAC; Art Director of HKIFF, Li Cheuk-to; The lead singer of The Deserted’s ending song and senior artist Rebecca PAN; Hong Kong director Ann HUI and Steve YUEN; the jury of HKIFF Firebird Award, Cecilia YIP; Hong Kong actress Karena LAM; musician Gaybird, etc. HKIFF is pleased to present 15 sessions of The Deserted from 31 March to 2 April at the Communication and Visual Arts Building of Hong Kong Baptist University. Tickets were sold out quickly after going on sale, showing the enthusiasm of Hong Kong audience on this VR film.


Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival with Vive L’amour (1994), TSAI Ming-Liang has established himself as one of contemporary cinema’s most accomplished auteurs. In addition to bringing films into the art world, The Deserted which produced by HTC and nominated to VR session in Venice Film Festival, depends on the HTC VIVE equipment collaborating with the world's first TMS (theatre management system) to integrate images and arts. The Desertedhis debut VR work, is an attempt to break the established dichotomy of traditional cinema, and create an interactive film experience that blurs the lines between reality and creative expression.  


The work is an elliptical tale of love, death and memory, starring LEE Kang-Sheng as a man recuperating from an illness in the mountains. Unable to communicate with his late mother or the female ghost next door, his only companion is a lone fish who swims with him in the bathtub. The Deserted offers a dreamlike 3D experience, which immerses viewers in the construction of the scenes, and the characters’ personal journeys.  



Two Promising Chinese Directors Showcase their Creative Talents at The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival

Two Promising Chinese Directors Showcase their Creative Talents at The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival

With the mission of championing young and promising talents, the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival is pleased to present “Chinese Cinema Now”, introducing four up-and-coming Chinese directors and their notable works to local audiences. Among them are Sunshine that Can Move Mountains and Looking for Lucky, both winners of the inaugural Early Bird New Directors Film Fund of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. 


Tibetan director WANG Qiang’s winner at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Sunshine that Can Move Mountains is a gratifying and heart-warming tale about a young Tibetan monk who faces the dilemma between religious faith and pure love. Combining spiritual musings and nature’s beauty, the film “is an ode to the benevolence of humanity and the beauty of our nature, as well as a poetry to the people devoted to the quest of spirituality,” according to the director.  


JIANG Jiachen’s feature debut, Looking for Lucky is a black comedy inspired by real-life characters in his hometown of Shenyang. It tells a tale of a young guy desperately searching for a missing dog in order to secure a tutorship job. Capturing the lively conversations in local dialect and rhythms of real life, JIANG hopes the film “can inspire contemplation of reality through absurdness, and reflect on the conceivable illness in modern society through ordinary people and daily lives.”


Both directors will come to Hong Kong and meet the audience. WANG will attend the post-screening talks on 30 March at 9:30pm at Festival Grand Cinema and 1 April at 7:30pm at Kornhill Cinema; while JIANG will attend the post-screening talks on 2 April at 9:30pm at Festival Grand Cinema and 4 April at 7:30pm at Kornhill Cinema. 


KAGAWA Kyoko Unable to Attend HKIFF due to Accidental Injury

KAGAWA Kyoko Unable to Attend HKIFF due to Accidental Injury

KAGAWA Kyoko, the legendary Japanese actress of the MIZOGUCHI Kenji masterpiece A Story from Chikamatsu, is unable to attend the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival as originally planned. Due to a recent accidental injury, she has to cancel her trip to Hong Kong and is therefore unable to meet the audience face to face on 25 March.   


KAGAWA Kyoko, in a hand-written letter, shares with Hong Kong fans her working experience with MIZOGUCHI Kenji in A Story from Chikamatsu. She apologizes for not being able to meet the Hong Kong audience, and sincerely wishes that they would enjoy watching the classic which has been newly restored to its full glory. 


Face to Face with KAGAWA Kyoko, originally scheduled on 25 March after the screening of A Story from Chikamatsu, will be replaced by a post-screening talk by critic Kiki FUNG.


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society sincerely wishes KAGAWA Kyoko a speedy recovery, and looks forward to the opportunity of receiving her in the near future.   



The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival Kicks Off with International Premiere of Omotenashi and Asian Premiere of Xiao Mei

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival Kicks Off with International Premiere of Omotenashi and Asian Premiere of Xiao Mei

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF42) opened tonight at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, presenting two opening films, namely the international premiere of Omotenashi, a co-production from Japan and Taiwan, and the Asian premiere of Xiao Mei.


Stellar guests officiated at the opening ceremony include Bernard CHAN, the Under Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development; director Jay CHERN, actress TANAKA Rena and actor WANG Po-Chieh from Omotenashi; director Maren HWANG, actor CHEN Yi-Wen and actress JAO Cincin from Xiao Mei; Festival Ambassador Louis KOO; and German master filmmaker Werner HERZOG. Local celebrities including Sing LAM, Neo YAU, Hedwig TAM, WONG Yat Ho, Koyi MAK, Crystal CHEUNG and CHEN Zhifa were also present to kick off the 18-day festival.

Wilfred WONG, Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), said, "This year's film festival continues our mission of promoting the latest films and classic masterpieces. We’re proud to showcase the international premiere of Omotenashi, and the Asian premiere of Xiao Mei, which was also selected in the Panorama Section of the Berlin Film Festival. We also have celebrated actress Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia as this year’s “Filmmaker in Focus”, in which 14 of her classics will be showcased, allowing fans to revisit her illustrious film career.”


WONG added that, thanks to the full support of HTC VIVE, ZOTAC and the Academy of Film of Hong Kong Baptist University, the festival is bringing audiences HTC's first virtual reality Chinese language film - The Deserted, directed by Taiwanese master TSAI Ming-Liang. Both the director and the Best Leading Actor of Golden Horse Awards LEE Kang-Sheng will visit Hong Kong again to lead the fans into the world of virtual reality. In addition, renowned American independent filmmaker Sean BAKER, and Japanese master documentarian HARA Kazuo will also meet the Hong Kong audience and share their creative insights.


At the opening ceremony, five-time HKIFF ambassador Louis KOO said, “This year’s promotional trailer is based on the theme of ‘telling stories’, implying that every film and every filmgoer has a story to tell. In Your Dreams, the movie that was selected in the Hong Kong Panorama Section is a good example of telling a good story. Apart from the breakthrough theme, the script has a nuanced portrayal of each character, allowing the audience to regain their lost youth. I am sure that everyone will be moved by this film."


The opening film, Omotenashi, depicts how three young people find their true selves in a ryokan and learn to appreciate different cultures as well as the value of things old and new. Another opening film, Xiao Mei, is a whodunit jam-packed with noir and suspense, reflecting the loneliness of the city through the sudden disappearance of a young girl.


HKIFF42 will be held from March 19 to April 5, 2018, with over 230 titles from 60 countries and regions, 63 of which are world, international or Asian premieres. Details of the programme can be found at www.hkiff.org.hk. Tickets for the public can be purchased online and at URBTIX outlets.



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