/ Accreditation /Press Release
/ Accreditation /Press Release
Press Release

Industry Veteran Appointed to Head the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society today announced the appointment of veteran film executive and producer Albert LEE as its next Executive Director from 1 November 2018.
 
He will succeed Roger GARCIA who has held the position since 2010.
 
Reporting directly to the HKIFFS’s Chairman, Dr Wilfred WONG, and its board of directors, LEE will oversee the society’s year-round activities, including the flagship Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum co-production market, the Summer International Film Festival, and the repertory Cine Fan programme.
LEE boasts nearly four decades of experience in production, distribution, exhibition and corporate sectors of the film industry, having held senior management positions at Golden Harvest and Emperor Motion Pictures. He has worked closely with prominent talents including Jackie CHAN, Dante LAM, Benny CHAN and Chinese auteur JIANG Wen.
 
He is a current member of the Film Development Council and has sat on the boards of the Motion Picture Industry Association and the Los Angeles-based Independent Film and Television Alliance. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Producers’ Branch, LEE has also served on festival juries in Venice, Udine and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane. 
 
“We are delighted that Albert will be coming on board with us,” said Dr WONG. “He is a seasoned professional who is recognised and well respected both in the local and international film communities. We are confident that Albert will be able to help us to consolidate and build on HKIFF’s position as one of the most important film festivals in Asia.”
 
Dr WONG also acknowledged the outgoing GARCIA, who was recently made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his film work.  “Roger has led the society well during a time of great change in the cinematic landscape,” he said. “His initiatives in audience development and filmmaker services, among others, have helped to nurture Hong Kong’s next generation of cinephiles and cineastes.” 
 
GARCIA will also step down as Executive Director of the Asian Film Awards Academy and will be succeeded by Josie LIN, the AFAA’s current general manager.
 
The Hong Kong International Film Festival, one of the oldest in Asia, will celebrate its 43rd edition next year from 18th March to 1st April.
 

18/09/2018

SummerIFF Comes to a Fruitful Conclusion Exciting Selections Continue in Cine Fan and Cine Italiano!

SummerIFF Comes to a Fruitful Conclusion Exciting Selections Continue in Cine Fan and Cine Italiano!

The Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) comes to a delightful conclusion with the closing film Happy as Lazarro. The momentum will continue in Cine Fan September/October programmes featuring the Ingmar BERGMAN centenary retrospective; a selection of courtroom drama classics, and the annual Cine Italiano! which will open on 13 September.  

 

Happy as Lazarro, winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival and directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Alice ROHRWACHER, is a sweet and modern fable. As a work of optimistic magical realism, it closes the circle of the opening film, anime master Mamoru HOSODA’s fantasy of the future Mirai.

 

Cine Fan Sep/Oct programmes will continue the Ingmar Bergman centenary programme with “Ingmar Bergman, Faith and Faithfulness II”. Highlights include Fanny and Alexander (1982), winner of four Oscars including Best Foreign Language Film and screening in its 5-hour TV version; the “Silence of God” Trilogy, his most profound contemplation on faith, love and loss; Autumn Sonata (1978), his only collaboration with Ingrid Bergman; and Saraband (2003), his swan song. Also included is the free screening of the documentary Bergman – A Year in a Life, an honest portrait of the cinematic legend, fresh from Cannes. 

 

For some of the most fascinating thematic elements in film – “whodunit”, the pursuit of truth, or reflection on justice, courtroom dramas are without parallel. Cine Fan offers a selection of six classics, including four masterpieces from the top 10 courtroom dramas selected by the American Film Institute – To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), 12 Angry Men (1957), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Echoing the courtroom dramas are two film classics in the “Back to the Screen” sidebar – Alan PARKER’S Midnight Express (1978) and In the Name of the Father starring Daniel DAY-LEWIS. Not-to-be-missed are the Palme d’Or winner Gate of Hell (1953) by KINUGASA Teinosuke and The Ballad of Narayama (1958) by KINOSHITA Keisuke, two restored classics that have garnered international renown for Japanese cinema.   

 

Cine Italiano! continues to excite Hong Kong audiences and the upcoming seventh edition is no exception. This annual celebration of Italian cinema will open with Dogman, a crime thriller directed by prominent filmmaker Matteo Garrone, won eight Italian Silver Ribbon Awards including Best Film. Opening night will be honored by the presence of Marcello FONTE who won Best Actor at this year’s Cannes film festival for his role in the film. Ferzan ÖZPETEK, director of the fascinating romance Naples in Veils, will attend the event and meet the audience after the screening. Other great films include comedies Love and Bullets and Euforia, as well as the restored timeless classic Death in Venice (1971) by the legendary Luchino VISCONTI.    

 

Tickets are now on sale. The full programme of Cine Fan can be viewed at official website cinefan.com.hk and tickets are available at URBTIX. The full programme of Cine Italiano! can be viewed at www.cine-italiano.hk and tickets are available at the Grand Cinema.   

28/08/2018

Summer International Film Festival 2018 kicks off with Mamoru HOSODA’s new animation MIRAI

Summer International Film Festival 2018 kicks off with Mamoru HOSODA’s new animation MIRAI

The Summer International Film Festival 2018 (SummerIFF2018) opens today with Mirai, the latest feature by the Japanese anime master Mamoru Hosoda. The opening ceremony at The Grand Cinema was officiated by Dr. Wilfred WONG, GBS, JP, Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS); Mirai director Mamoru HOSODA; the Festival Ambassador of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43), renowned Hong Kong leading man Aaron KWOK Fu-shing; and Jennifer Yu, one of newly appointed Youth Ambassadors.

 

Mirai is the first Japanese animated work ever to receive a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Acclaimed director HOSODA solidifies all his artistic touchstones – time leap, futuristic fantasy and familial affection – into this ambitious exploration of the circle of life from the perspective of a 4-year-old boy who embarks on a series of adventures and surprises. HOSODA will meet the audience after the screening of the opening film and will also attend a Master Class on 19 August after the screening of The Boy and the Beast, his impressive 2015 work.

 

Equally fascinating and imaginative is the closing film Happy as Lazzaro, the Cannes Best Screenplay winner by renowned Italian director Alice ROHRWACHER. Other highlights among the 36 films presented in this year’s SummerIFF include award-winning works from the world’s top film festivals such as Touch Me Not, The Prayer, and Border; hot picks from Japan and Korea such as Hurry Go Round, The Bastard and the Beautiful World and Inuyashiki. This year’s special programme is dedicated to film icon Audrey Hepburn with films that continue to stand the test of time such as Sabrina and My Fair Lady. This year’s restored classics include CHEN Kaige’s Yellow Earth, which announced China’s Fifth Generation to the world (at the HKIFF in 1985), KUROSAWA Akira’s Kagemusha (produced by fans George LUCAS and Francis Ford COPPOLA), and Stanley KUBRICK’s meditation on war and madness, Full Metal Jacket.   

 

Summer International Film Festival 2018 will run for 11 days from 18 to 28 August 2018. The full programme is available at http://cinefan.com.hk. Free programme booklets are also available at selected outlets. Tickets can now be booked online at the official website and all URBTIX outlets.

 

18/08/2018

SummerIFF Opens with MIRAI and Closes with HAPPY AS LAZARRO

SummerIFF Opens with MIRAI and Closes with HAPPY AS LAZARRO

The Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF), to be held from 18 to 28 August 2018, will open with Mirai, directed by the leading Japanese anime master Mamoru HOSODA, and close with Happy as Lazarro, winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival, directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Alice ROHRWACHER. Highlights among the 36 films presented in this year’s SummerIFF include award-winning works from the world’s top film festivals, hot picks from Japan and Korea, as well as a special programme dedicated to the legendary star Audrey Hepburn. 

 

Mamoru HOSODA will meet Hong Kong audiences

Mamoru HOSODA will come to Hong Kong with his new film, Mirai, to open the SummerIFF on 18 August. As a prelude to his visit, all four of his celebrated feature animations will be presented from 14 August onwards. The 15-day festival will conclude with Happy as Lazarro, a magic-realist fable mixing time-bending fantasy with contemporary social critique that won Alice ROHRWACHER her well-deserved award and wide accolade at Cannes.

 

Neo YAU and Jennifer YU appointed as HKIFF Youth Ambassadors

A star-studded line-up illuminates HKIFF this year. Following the appointment of renowned actor Aaron KWOK Fu-shing as Festival Ambassador of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43), two promising young actors, Neo YAU and Jennifer YU, are newly appointed as Youth Ambassadors. Together they will help develop young people’s interest in film culture and encourage a broader spectrum of youth to go to the movies, made more accessible and affordable by low cost student tickets. As a continued effort to promote local talents, Distinction, directed by Jevons AU and starring Jennifer YU, will be showcased in SummerIFF.

 

Star-studded hot picks and award-winning works      

A number of the most sought-after stars from Japan and Korea will also be featured, including SMAP in The Bastard and the Beautiful World; SUDA Masaki in Spark and Wilderness; SATOH Takeru in Inuyashiki; and RYU Jun-yeol in Believer. Hurry Go Round, the documentary about the late legendary X Japan guitarist, is also a must-see for fans. Award-winning films fresh from top international film festivals are also programme highlights - Touch Me Not, the controversial Golden Bear winner at Berlinale; The Prayer, winner of Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Actor (Anthony BAJON); and Border, winner of Un Certain Regards Award at Cannes. Veteran Wim WENDERS’ new documentary, Pope Francis – A Man of His Word, also promises to allure audiences.  

 

A tribute to Audrey HEPBURN   

Equally attractive as new hits are timeless classics. On the 25th anniversary of the passing of Audrey HEPBURN, SummerIFF celebrates the remarkable achievement of this great actress of all time. Six of her acclaimed works from the golden age of Hollywood are featured, including Roman Holiday (1953) which won her three prominent Best Actress awards; My Fair Lady (1964), winner of eight Oscars including Best Picture; and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) that affirmed her status as an enduring icon of grace. 

Four restored classics from China and Japan are among the most significant in modern film history. These include Yellow Earth, the ground-breaking debut work by CHEN Kaige; The Horse Thief by TIAN Zhuangzhuang; as well as two Japanese Palme d’Or winners – Kagemusha by KUROSAWA Akira and The Ballad of Narayama by IMAMURA Shohei.

 

The full programme of SummerIFF 2018 is now available at official website http://cinefan.com.hk.Tickets will be on sale from 24 July onwards at URBTIX. Local full-time student card holders or Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card holders with oversea full-time student cards can enjoy a special discount at $28 per ticket for all films in the festival.  

23/07/2018

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

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. 

18/07/2018

WINNER OF HKIFF FIREBIRD AWARD GOES TO THE OSCARS

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. 

29/06/2018

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. 

 

30/05/2018

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

04/05/2018

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.

05/04/2018

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

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.

02/04/2018

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