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HKIFFS postpones HKIFF44 and HAF18, cancels Cine Fan April/May edition

HKIFFS postpones HKIFF44 and HAF18,

cancels Cine Fan April/May edition


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society today announces the postponement of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) and the 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF18) in response to the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


In making the announcement, HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE confirms that the Society’s two flagship events, both scheduled to start in less than six weeks, will be postponed to the summer of 2020.  However, the April/May edition of the year-round Cine Fan repertory programme has been cancelled.


“We hope to be able to share more information regarding a postponed HKIFF44 following discussions with screenings venues, as well as our many stakeholders, partners and sponsors,” said LEE.


HAF director Jacob WONG said plans are on track to hold HAF18 during the 24th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), which the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has just postponed to 27-29 August.


“Besides, we are still going ahead with HAF Goes to Cannes which takes place during Cannes Film Festival in May,” said WONG.  “We will announce the selected projects for this initiative in late March.”


LEE added that the postponement of HKIFF44 and HAF18 was not an easy decision to make.  “We see the need to make a socially-responsible decision and not to put the public’s safety and well-being at risk,” he said.  “Our prayers are for those who are affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak and to wish them a full and speedy recovery.”


For latest updates of HKIFF44 and Cine Fan programmes, please visit the official websites www.hkiff.org.hk and www.cinefan.com.hk.  For information about HAF18, please visit the official website www.haf.org.hk.



HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s 30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems

HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s 30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems

HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s

30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Film Foundation by showcasing new restorations of six rarely-seen film classics in this year’s festival. 


Established in 1990 by Martin SCORSESE and other leading filmmakers, The Film Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history.  By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped to restore over 850 films – including 40 films from 24 different countries through its renowned World Cinema Project – which are made accessible to the public through festivals, museums, and educational institutions around the world.  The foundation's free educational curriculum, The Story of Movies, teaches young people - over 10 million to date - about film language and history.


“It is an honor to partner with The Film Foundation on the occasion of its 30th anniversary in bringing some of its most important works to the Hong Kong audiences,” enthused HKIFF Director of Programming Geoffrey WONG. 


“The six hidden gems in this special tribute, ranging from silent classics, Hollywood Western comedy, to Mexican and Brazilian neo-social realism, have all been restored to their full glory with The Film Foundation’s support.  They also highlight the foundation’s mission in championing film heritage and rich diversity in world cinema.”


“I’m thrilled that such an exciting selection of restorations supported by The Film Foundation are screening at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. These six titles represent the diverse range of films the foundation has helped restore over the past three decades. Spanning every era, genre, and region, the hundreds of films restored show the rich history of cinema and the universality of the art of film. From Pixote and Los Olvidados to Rosita and The Broken Butterfly, all are rare works created by master filmmakers. This year in particular, during our 30th anniversary, we’re thrilled to partner with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and thank them for their devotion to film culture and commitment to the foundation’s work,” said Martin SCORSESE, the founder and chair of The Film Foundation. 


The most-anticipated work in the programme is The Broken Butterfly (1919), pioneering French director Maurice TOURNEUR’s silent American classic, which the public has not seen for a century.  This poignant romance amply demonstrates why TOURNEUR’s mastery of stylized lighting, set design and atmosphere had left such a lasting influence on the Hollywood screen.


Invited to work in Hollywood by the legendary Mary PICKFORD, German maestro Ernst LUBITSCH created a signature cinematic style – known as the Lubitsch Touch, and his first American production, Rosita (1923), is often hailed as one of the most beautifully made silent films.  Priming his iconic western with slapstick, wisecracks, and action in Destry Rides Again (1939), Hollywood veteran George MARSHALL subverted the genre in an amusing gender role reversal, anchored by flawless performances by James STEWART and Marlene DIETRICH.               


Regarded as a masterpiece of Latin American cinema, Los Olvidados (1950) earned Spanish master Luis BUÑUEL a Best Director kudo at Cannes for his raw and ruthless vision of juvenile crime in a Mexico City slum, steadfast in its realism, yet operatic in its tragedy with flourishes of surreal, transcendental insight in a stunning dream sequence.   The film inspired Hector BABENCO whose Pixote (1980) similarly shows the unbearably harsh lives of abandoned children in Sao Paulo in realistic yet shockingly lyrical images that express the texture of everyday brutality.   


American director Nietzchka KEENE drew her inspiration from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale and transformed it into The Juniper Tree (1990), an ethereal psychological horror film shot against the backdrop of Iceland’s stunning landscape and starring Björk in her enchanting film debut. 


WONG said the collaboration between HKIFFS and The Film Foundation would continue beyond this year’s festival.  “In addition to this special anniversary tribute, classics from The Film Foundation will regularly feature in our upcoming Cine Fan programmes,” he said. 


The Hong Kong International Film Festival, now in its 44th edition, will be held from 24 March to 6 April.  The public can purchase tickets online (www.hkiff.org.hk) and through all URBTIX and HK Ticketing outlets starting from 13 March 2020.


Six classics from The Film Foundation:

1. The Broken Butterfly (1919)
Restored in 2019 by The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with La Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé. Restoration funding provided by Louis XIII Cognac.


2. Rosita (1923)
Restored by The Museum of Modern Art. Restoration funding provided by the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, RT Features, The Film Foundation and the Celeste Bartos Preservation Fund.


3. Destry Rides Again (1939)
Restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.


4. Los Olvidados (1950)
Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Fundación Televisa, Televisa, Cineteca Nacional Mexico, and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Foundation.


5. Pixote (1980)
Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata in association with HB Filmes, Cinemateca Brasileira, and JLS Facilitações Sonoras. Restoration funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation.


6. The Juniper Tree (1990)
Restored by the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.



HKIFF44 Honors Michael Hui

HKIFF44 Honors Michael Hui

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Honors Michael Hui


The 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) today unveiled Hong Kong’s very own King of Comedy Michael HUI as its Filmmaker-in-Focus.


In a career spanning half a century as producer, writer, director and actor, HUI has dazzled and entertained generations of Hong Kong audiences with his character-driven satires combined with a splash of slapstick alongside a unique Cantonese sensibility.


“Michael is a living legend,” enthused HKIFF Executive Director Albert LEE.  “Just as the works of screen legends the ilk of CHAPLIN, KEATON and TATI, HUI’s mastery of his craft makes him a true icon of Hong Kong cinema, with an enduring influence on generations of aspiring filmmakers and comedians.  We are thrilled and honored to be recognising his massive contribution which re-defined Hong Kong’s comedy cinema.” 


To be held from 24 March to 6 April, HKIFF44 will celebrate HUI’s remarkable career with a retrospective of 10 of his seminal works together with the release of a commemorative book, featuring new interviews with HUI and some of his collaborators, as well as critiques and rarely-seen production sketches of his classic comedies.  As with the previous filmmakers-in-focus, HUI will also attend a Face to Face session at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 28 March to share his creative insights and anecdotes with the public in person.


HUI made his breakthrough on television with the popular Hui Brothers Show in 1971-1972, where his unique brand of humor and deadpan comic timing caught the eyes of famed director LI Han-Hsiang.  LI cast him as a farcical general in The Warlord (1972), a debut that set the path for HUI’s distinguished tapestry of inventing jokes and performing art.       


A combination of episodic gags and wits becomes the canon of the early HUI comedies, all co-starring his brothers Sam and Ricky.  Games Gamblers Play (1974), in which HUI combined directing, writing and acting roles for the first time, broke all box-office records.  His phenomenal success continued with The Last Message (1975) and The Private Eyes (1976).


HUI received international acclaim in the 1980s with some of his most renowned works as he became known as Mr. Boo! in Japan and across Europe.  He and his three brothers – with Stanley also helping out behind the scene – combined their wits and produced Security Unlimited (1981), one of the most iconic comedies in the history of Hong Kong cinema, winning HUI the first Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor in the process.        


In Chicken and Duck Talk (1988), the first film released by his own company, HUI starred in a roaring comedy about a penny-pinching restauranteur which he co-wrote with director Clifton KO, providing his trademark laughs with an acerbic look at the changing society and integrated local culture.  The Philip CHAN-directed Front Page (1990) reunited HUI with his brothers and affirmed his social conscience with a sarcastic take on the showbiz tabloid paparazzi scene. 


The Magic Touch (1992) is simultaneously a satire of the Chinese obsession with wealth and fortune-telling, and a timely reflection of the pre-1997 handover anxiety.  Continued in Always on My Mind (1993) directed by Jacob CHEUNG, HUI delivered one of his most poignant and accomplished screen performances, offering a mischievous nudge at media impact, yet a sympathetic take on family value.   


Forever a perfectionist, HUI never ceases his pursuit of excellence in films.   A recent prime example being Godspeed (2016), which won him a Golden Horse Best Actor Award nomination. 


HKIFF44 will announce this year’s full programme on 10 March.  The public can purchase tickets online (www.hkiff.org.hk) and through all URBTIX outlets from 13 March.



Face to Face with Michael HUI

Date: 28 March 2020 (Saturday)

Venue: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Online pre-registration for FREE admission, with details available through the HKIFFS’s official website and Facebook page on a later date.


Retrospective film list

1974  Games Gamblers Play

1975  The Last Message

1976  The Private Eyes

1981  Security Unlimited

1988  Chicken and Duck Talk

1990  Front Page

1992  The Magic Touch

1993  Always on My Mind

2016  Godspeed



HKIFF44 Teams Up With Aaron KWOK, Wing SHYA And Launches New Key Art

HKIFF44 Teams Up With Aaron KWOK, Wing SHYA And Launches New Key Art

HKIFF44 Teams Up With Aaron KWOK, Wing SHYA
And Launches New Key Art


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society reunites with celebrated actor Aaron KWOK and international visual artist Wing SHYA to lead audiences into another magical voyage to discover the wonders of cinema.


The Hong Kong International Film Festival is one of the longest-running international film festivals in Asia.  The full programme of its 44th edition (HKIFF44), to be held from 24 March to 6 April, will be announced on 10 March.  The public can purchase tickets online (www.hkiff.org.hk) and through all URBTIX outlets from 13 March.


SHYA, who conceived the acclaimed Colours in the Dark motif for HKIFF43, returns this year with a brand new key-art design featuring a stunning collage of extravagant colours and electrifying images.


Unveiling the new key art for the first time today, HKIFFS’s Head of Marketing, Catherine LIU, believes SHYA’s design conjures the fantasy, dynamism and diversity of the cinematic universe.


“The imagination it inspires resonates with the rich tapestry of films that HKIFF44 will bring to Hong Kong’s audiences,” LIU enthused.


KWOK reprises his role as HKIFF44’s Festival Ambassador.  He will be supported in his endeavours to promote appreciation and interest in film culture in Hong Kong, in particular by the younger generation of filmgoers, by actors Jennifer YU and Neo YAU who will continue to serve as HKIFF’s Youth Ambassadors for a second year.



Acclaimed filmmaker Mabel CHEUNG takes over as Vice Chairperson of HKIFFS

Acclaimed filmmaker Mabel CHEUNG takes over as Vice Chairperson of HKIFFS

Acclaimed filmmaker Mabel CHEUNG takes over as Vice Chairperson of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) announced today that renowned local filmmaker Mabel CHEUNG had joined its board as vice-chairperson. 


Ms CHEUNG succeeds fellow filmmaker Johnnie TO who has stepped down after holding the position since 2014.


Internationally acclaimed for films such as An Autumn's Tale (1987), Eight Taels of Gold (1989), The Soong Sisters (1997), and City of Glass (1998), the multi-talented CHEUNG is one of Hong Kong’s most distinguished directors, writers and producers.  In a career that spans more than three decades, she has won numerous accolades, including the Hong Kong Film Awards, the Golden Horse Awards, Chicago International Film Festival and, most notably, the 60th Berlin International Film Festival’s Crystal Bear for Echoes of the Rainbow (2010).  


CHEUNG is the incumbent President of the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild and a guest lecturer of the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film.  She has also served as a member of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, and on the juries of film festivals in London and Zurich.


“I am greatly honored to be asked to join the Society’s board,” said CHEUNG.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to become further engaged in the promotion of film culture and, specifically, the appreciation of Asian and Chinese language cinema.  I look forward to working closely with my fellow board members to continue enriching the cinematic experience of the Hong Kong public.”


“We are delighted that Mabel has agreed to join us,” enthused HKIFFS chairman Dr Wilfred WONG.  “Her wealth of experience would be invaluable to the Society.  With her support, we could further our mission of uniting the world through films and consolidating our status as one of the oldest and best-loved film festivals in Asia.”


Dr WONG also expressed his appreciation to Dr Johnnie TO.  “Johnnie has made a tremendous contribution to the Society over the past five years,” said Dr WONG.  “My fellow board members and I are indebted to him for his invaluable advice and generous support, as well as his dedication in nurturing a new generation of filmmakers in Hong Kong.”


Announcement on details of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44), to run for 14 days from 24 March to 6 April 2020, will be made soon.



Cine Fan will start the new year with the cinematic treasures of NARUSE Mikio and Sergei PARAJANOV

Cine Fan will start the new year with the cinematic treasures of



The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society will kick off its 2020 Cine Fan programme with more cinematic gems in its January/February edition, including the delicately sublime dramas of NARUSE Mikio and the magical realism-infused romance of Sergei PARAJANOV.



One of the most prolific and respected masters of Japanese cinema, NARUSE Mikio is lauded for his realistic dramas of domestic life and his sympathetic portraits of women.  The Cine Fan retrospective, entitled Life is But an Illusion: The Cinema of Naruse Mikio, features 12 of his most iconic works, including some rarely seen outside of Japan.  Thematically curated in three separate sections, it showcases NARUSE’s uncanny ability in the portrayal of artistic reflection, marital dilemmas and social transformations.


Under Love/Art, NARUSE’s quietly devastating camera captured the dichotomy between artistic excellence and elusive love in his four-film collaboration with the legendary actress YAMADA Isuzu in Tsuruhachi and Tsurujiro (1938), The Song Lantern (1943), Flowing (1956), and The Flowing of Evening (1960).


Under Wife/Puzzle, four films pivoted on women lost in the illusion of family coherence – Feminine Melancholy (1937), Repast (1951), Wife (1953) and A Wife’s Heart (1956) – amply demonstrates NARUSE’s sensitivity and empathy towards the struggles of the ordinary people, especially discontented wives for their courageous attempt to extricate from life’s hardship and oppressive relationships.


A precise reflection of the time, NARUSE’s cinema represented women’s transformation in the modern milieu.  Time/Change, the NARUSE retrospective’s third thematic section, features his acclaimed Floating Clouds (1955) and Her Lonely Lane (1962).  Adapted from HAYASHI Fumiko’s best-selling novels, these masterpieces were both anchored by the superb performance of TAKAMINE Hideko.  Completing this section, Untamed (1957) and As a Wife, As a Woman (1961), also starring TAKAMINE, evoke powerful female mentality in a complex interplay of history, time and circumstances.


In a completely different cinematic universe from NARUSE, Armenian director Sergei PARAJANOV is renowned as a master of images, light and reality.  These unique qualities are exemplified in his four features and three short films in The Dreamlike Tableau of Sergei Parajanov selection, all recently restored.


Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), PARAJANOV’s first significant work after he denounced his previous social-realist style, awed the world with his poetic and gorgeously mystical touch that has become his signature motif.


PARAJANOV’s groundbreaking masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates (1969) is a carefully composed tableau that drew heavily from traditional Armenian cultures and religious symbols.  It was a visual feast that intoxicated even GODARD and ANTONIONI, who have called it one of the greatest films ever made.  Despite being oppressed and imprisoned by the Soviet authority, the filmmaker never wavered from his unique mystical fantasy, as seen in his later films, The Legend of Suram Fortress (1985) and Ashik Kerib (1988) which, if anything, are even more playful variations of his style.


The Golden Age section of Cine Fan brings together two romance heists that showcase the extraordinary outcome when European and American creative forces collide.  Trouble in Paradise (1932), German maestro Ernst LUBITSCH’s Hollywood production, is a quintessential example of the Lubitsch Touch that sparkles with wit, sophistication and elegance.  Romantic comedy is transformed into a different slapstick form by Hollywood director Blake EDWARDS in The Pink Panther (1963), where the inimitable Peter SELLERS and David NIVEN stole the limelight, and the pink panther will continue to charm audience in the series of films that follow.  



Lost and found is the elusive thread that ties the two films in this edition’s Back to the Screen.  Anthony MINGHELLA’s The English Patient (1996) evokes fleeting experiences and memories of lost love in times of war.  While, in Sofia COPPOLA’s Lost in Translation (2003), Bill MURRAY and Scarlett JOHANSSON translated their own life experiences into deeply-etched portraits of two lives stuck and lost in alienation.


The Dynamic Debuts section revisits two tragic love stories which showcase the contrasting style of two famed Korean filmmakers: Christmas in August (1998) offers a glimpse at the delicate and restraint approach of HUR Jin-ho, and An Affair (1998) sees E J-Yong's bold venture into explicit sexuality and forbidden romance.


The full programme is available at www.cinefan.com.hk/.  Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets from 12 December 2019.


Programme Details: http://bit.ly/2020jf

Trailer: https://youtu.be/wnmpjJkbR6I



Cine Fan concludes the year with the cinematic fantasies of Jacques TATI, Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG

Cine Fan concludes the year with the cinematic fantasies of Jacques TATI, Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG

Cine Fan concludes the year with the cinematic fantasies of Jacques TATI, Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s year-round Cine Fan programme rounds off an enthralling 2019 with a world of cinematic fantasies in its November/December edition, combining the visual comedies of Jacques TATI and the enchantment of Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG.


One of the greatest comedians in the history of cinema alongside Charlie CHAPLIN and Buster KEATON, Jacques TATI is renowned for his uniquely cinematic humor that raised slapstick to the level of high art.  In his comic invention of the charmingly awkward surrogate Mr. Hulot – the central character in Mr. Hulot’s Holdiay (1953), My Uncle (1958) and Traffic (1971), TATI expressed a satirical outrage at alienation in the modern industrialized world.  Widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, his 1967 PlayTime witnessed the uncompromising realization of the illusionist’s imagination – a legacy that inspired the works of David LYNCH, Wes ANDERSON and many others.  Another pleasant surprise: Anyone attending the TATI screenings will have a chance to take home one of the three lavish “Jacques Tati. The Complete Works” box sets, newly-published by TASCHEN, each worth HK$2,000.    


Setting her stage of coolly transformative mystique in The Blue Angel (1930) and Morocco (1930), Marlene DIETRICH’s lustrous vitality was heightened by Josef von STERNBERG’s visionary erotic aesthetics.  In their seven-film collaboration, the Austrian master indulged audiences with delirious fantasy and the interplay of manipulation and masochism.  Through the provocative roles von STERNBERG created for her, including a notorious courtesan in Shanghai Express (1932), a patriotic spy in Dishonored (1931), and even the hedonistic Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress (1934), DIETRICH is transformed into a myth on Hollywood screen.


An unsung hero of the anti-heroic trend of the Polish school, Andrzej MUNK remains one of the most influential voices in European cinema.  From his debut Man on the Tracks (1957) to his incomplete masterpiece, Passenger (1963), the four feature films he made in his lifetime are monumental for his subversive streak in cinematic style and satirical rebellion against totalitarian suppression. Monika TALARCZYK, a film scholar and Associate Professor of the Lodz Film School in Poland, will introduce MUNK’s four films as Cine Fan’s special guest speaker.


Godard, Film, History

Jean-Luc GODARD’s visions on the history of cinema are awe-inspiring.  In the new Cine Fan film course “Godard, Film, History”, film scholars and critics will share their insights on how the French New Wave pioneer looks at film history in a series of six lectures, each following screenings of JLG/JLG – Self-Portrait in December (1994), 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema (1995) and Historie(s) of Cinema (1988-98).



The Golden Age” section continues to showcase the magnificent outcome when European and American creative forces collide, bringing together Austrian maestro Josef von STERNBERG’s Hollywood production alongside the revered Howard HAWKS’ post-WWII drama set in Europe. With a natural flair for the romantic comedy, Hollywood’s enduring darling Cary GRANT showed his debonair charm in von STERNBERG’s Blonde Venus (1932) and humorous talent in HAWKS’ I Was a Male War Bride (1949).  His co-stars, Marlene DIETRICH and Ann SHERIDAN, in their own charismatic and intelligent character, subverted the gender role stereotype, representing the directors’ ahead-of-their-time visions.      


Back to the Screen

Back to the Screen” presents two of cinema’s most prophetic visions of the future: Terry GILLIAM’s Brazil (1985) conjures a dystopian fantasy in an autocratic world that remains as arresting and prescient as ever; while OSHII Mamoru’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) proved its unabating influence as a cutting-edge science-fiction that questions humanity and technology in a cyber society.


The full programme is available at www.cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets from 10 October 2019. 




HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience

HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience

HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna 

Bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience


The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today announces a long-term collaboration with Italy’s world-renowned Cineteca di Bologna to promote film heritage conservation through screenings, exhibitions and seminars of restored classics.


A significant feature of this collaboration will involve HKIFFS bringing some of Cineteca di Bologna's priceless collection of restored film classics in specially curated programmes to Hong Kong’s audience, starting from the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) in 2020.  HKIFFS’s year-round repertory Cine Fan Programme will also benefit from this partnership.


To reciprocate, HKIFFS will collaborate with Cineteca di Bologna in identifying and recommending notable films from the region for preservation, and to assist in curating Chinese language programmes for future editions of Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival for restored and rediscovered films held in Bologna each year.


In welcoming this new initiative, HKIFFS executive director Albert Lee notes the growing global interest in film conservation.  “Newly restored film classics now form an important feature in most international festivals, including Hong Kong,” Lee said.   “And it is gratifying to see local audience becoming increasingly appreciative of film heritage through their exposure to these restored classics.


“We are deeply honored to be able to work with the illustrious Cineteca di Bologna on a long-term basis.  This new partnership will enrich the experience of Hong Kong audience and also to, hopefully, enhance the quality and scopes of our respective programmes.”


Director of Cineteca di Bologna Gian Luca Farinelli said, “Receiving an invitation from such a prestigious festival is a great honor. HKIFFS, for 43 years, has showcased the best examples of cinema from all eras and countries and we are particularly glad to present some examples of our work on cinema heritage in such an occasion. Cinema is a key instrument to improve mutual understanding between Eastern and Western worlds: the need for knowledge and human relations today is more important and urgent than ever.”


With a collection of thousands of films in its archive, Cineteca di Bologna is one of the most recognised centers for preserving world cinematic heritage.  Its highly specialised film restoration laboratory, L’Immagine Ritrovata, is renowned for its technical expertise, superior quality and unparalleled vision, having worked on films by the Lumieres, Chaplin, Keaton, Wong Kar-Wai, Edward Yang, King Hu, and Jiang Wen, among many others.


Cineteca di Bologna is also the organizer of the annual Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and often forgotten cinema.  Now in its 33rd edition, Il Cinema Ritrovato offers not only timeless classics and masterpieces recently restored and preserved, but it also showcases lesser-known cinematic works recovered from film archives around the world.


HKIFF44 will run from 24 March to 6 April 2020.  Details will be announced early in 2020.




Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas

Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas

Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with

Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas


Claudio GIOVANNESI’s award-winning crime thriller Piranhas will open this year’s premier Italian cinema showcase, Cine Italiano! - Cinema Italian Style in Hong Kong!


Now in its eighth year, Cine Italiano! is co-presented by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong, and the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong.  From 12th to 22nd September 2019, Hong Kong audience can watch seven contemporary films and one restored classic by some of Italy’s most talented filmmakers at PREMIERE ELEMENTS.


This year’s opening film, Piranhas, is a Silver Bear winner at Berlinale for best screenplay.  Based on Gomorrah author Roberto SAVIANO’s best-seller, GIOVANNESI transforms the novel into a compelling crime drama about the loss of innocence and misguided ambitions through a coming-of-age story of teenagers navigating the dangerous world of crime in Naples in exhilarating fashion.


As a tribute to Lina WERTMÜLLER, the first female filmmaker nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director and a recipient of the Academy’s Honorary Award this year, Cine Italiano! will screen the restored The Seduction of Mimi in its full glory.  The 1972 satire exemplified her mastery in conveying both sexual hypocrisies and political dilemmas through the misadventures of a macho Sicilian laborer associated with the Mafia.


Magical Nights, a bittersweet comedy about the glories of Italian Cinema, highlights the diversity in this year’s contemporary selection with The Champion, a compelling story about friendship set in the world of professional football, and Romulus & Remus: The First King, which depicts the epic yet brutal journey of two brothers in the founding of Rome.  Capri-Revolution, a portrayal of sensual and intellectual awakenings of artist-radicals in the early 20th century, completes the exciting programme with Lucia’s Grace, in which magical realism transforms into an enlightening comedy, and the aching resonance in the grim tale of The Vice of Hope.


“We are very honored to once again collaborate with Istituto Luce Cinecittà and the Italian Cultural Institute for Cine Italiano!,” said Albert LEE, Executive Director of the HKIFFS.  “It affirms our tradition of always striving to bring a robust and diverse selection of modern and classic Italian cinema to local movie lovers.”


Mr. Roberto CICUTTO, President and CEO of Istituto Luce Cinecittà, added, “Since 2012, we have accepted this challenge, trusting the experience of the Hong Kong International Film Festival and enjoying the support of the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute. I am excited to bring for the eighth consecutive year some of the best Italian films - both classic and contemporary - to Hong Kong.”


“The success of Cine Italiano! for the past seven years has been a great encouragement to continue this tradition. I am pleased to witness that the programme is growing its popularity and I hope to continue to bring some of the best Italian classics and contemporary movies to Hong Kong audience.” said Hon. Clemente CONTESTABILE, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong.


Please refer to Appendix for synopses of the films.  The full programme is available online at www.cine-italiano.hk.  Tickets are available for purchase at www.cinema.com.hk, the box office of PREMIERE ELEMENTS, and via mobile app Ticketing Broadway PALACE AMC.  For enquiries, please contact 2388 0002.


Opening Film Piranhas



SummerIFF 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory

SummerIFF 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory

Summer International Film Festival 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory


This year’s edition of the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF2019) kicks off today with Pain and Glory, the profoundly personal award-winning film by the maverick Pedro ALMODÓVAR.


Hong Kong International Film Festival Society board member Fred WANG joins festival youth ambassadors Neo YAU and Jennifer YU in officiating the opening ceremony today at MOViE MOViE Cityplaza.  Other attending celebrity guests include Crisel CONSUNJI, KAM Kwok-leung, Zeno KOO, Heiward MAK, Sofiee NG, and Cecilia YIP.


Superbly anchored by Antonio BANDERAS, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes with his delicate yet powerful performance, Pain and Glory is by far ALMODÓVAR’s most melancholic rumination on physical frailty and emotional turmoil steeped in his own life and artistic oeuvre.  To complement the Spanish auteur’s latest masterpiece and to offer a comprehensive overview of his inimitable style, SummerIFF2019 will also present an eight-film tribute programme, ranging from the early transgressive sex comedy Matador (1986) to his more recent and subtly sophisticated melodramas like Volver (2006).


SummerIFF2019 will present a total of 31 films over 15 days in more than 60 screenings.  It will conclude on 27 August with Ken LOACH’s gripping drama Sorry We Missed You, a critique on social injustice and the modern gig economy, echoing his 2016 Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake.


In addition to full-time students, discounted tickets at $28 each will also be available for the first time during SummerIFF2019 to senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and CSSA recipients.  SummerIFF2019’s full programme is now available on Cine Fan’s official website: http://cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets can be purchased online and at all URBTIX outlets.






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