Saturday, March 20, 2010

3.20.2010 - HKIFF Preview, Local Films

HK Magazine: Crossing Hennessy (review)
It is enormously refreshing to see a Hong Kong film that has nothing to do with triad politics or wired kung fu acrobatics. Set over a few streets in Wan Chai, “Crossing Hennessy” is a straightforward dramedy that acknowledges the pathos of modern urban living while pointing out some of the simple truths in life...
Interview: Ivy Ho
Someone misquoted me. I did not say, “Within ten years Hong Kong films might become obsolete.” I just said Cantonese films might become obsolete.

It all started as a selfish little project—director Alex Law wanted to make a film dedicated to his older brother, and wrote the screenplay based on his childhood in 1960s Hong Kong. It is a small, cozy film that feels like a personal tribute...

While co-productions with the mainland continue to keep Hong Kong’s film industry in business, some local moviemakers are taking a more intimate approach to shooting in our city...

Eight Local Films Premiere at HKIFF
Break Up Club
A sad and sweet teen romance. Directed by Barbara Wong. Starring Fiona Sit, Jaycee Chan, Patrick Tang, Hiro Hayama and Bonnie Xian.
La Comédie Humaine
A professional hitman and a screenwriter become friends. Directed by Chan Hing-kai and Janet Chun. Starring Chapman To, Wong Cho-lam and Fiona Sit.
Actions and laughs abound in this homage to action films of yesteryear. Directed by Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng. Starring Leung Siu-lung, Chen Kwun-tai and Teddy Robin.
A group of teenage escorts encounter a pervy cop and a john with AIDS while a killer is on the loose. Directed by Kenneth Bi. Starring Bonnie Xian, Michelle Wai, Minyi Wang, Derek Tsang and Deep Ng.

How to Make an Indie Hong Kong Flick (link above, scroll down)
Want to make an indie film but short of funds and talent? Let our no-sweat step-by-step guide to independent filmmaking set you on your way to stardom. Hong Kong International Film Festival 2011, here we come!

Variety: Filmart kicks off in Hong Kong
Asian confab buzzes with local momentum, looks ahead to 3D
  • A majority of the top 10 Chinese-language box office hits in China were Hong Kong movies or co-productions. The number of movies that started lensing in 2009 was 30% higher than the previous year at 70, and the council expects that number to increase in 2010.
  • Hong Kong's expertise is in action movies, and local helmer Wilson Yip says martial arts films will continue to play a key role in the city's movie industry, even as local production companies increase cross-border cooperation.
  • Hong Kong helmer Peter Chan, who last year linked up with Beijing distributor PolyBona and Chinese helmer Huang Jiangxin to form the shingle Cinema Popular, has been skeptical about the belief that the market will keep rising forever.
  • "Last year was too good to be true. This year everything will go back to being real," he says.It is fortunate that Hong Kong has a huge market on the Chinese mainland, where we are finding new and expanded opportunities," says thesp Tony Leung [Chiu-Wai], who is acting as Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador.
  • "On the downside, dependence on the mainland means we lack market diversity and that's not healthy," he says. "And we also still face constraints on film productions, since it's not easy for some movie themes to win approval from the authorities."
Screen Daily: Hong Kong turns up the volume
On the eve of the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival and Filmart, Liz Shackleton looks at whether the current surge in Hong Kong cinema really amounts to a revival.
  • China has become a crucial market for Hong Kong productions, but its censorship rules restrict Hong Kong’s traditional ghost, gambling and gangster movies, and mainland audiences have different tastes to cinema-goers in Hong Kong. That has led to a downturn in small to medium-budget Cantonese-language fare, and an upsurge in mainland-focused co-productions.
  • But the situation started to change last year with the success of Mandarin Films’ comedy All’s Well, Ends Well, and the return of Shaw Brothers and broadcaster TVB to production with local titles such as crime drama Turning Point and comedy 72 Tenants Of Prosperity that managed to recoup just in Hong Kong.
  • Also encouraging is the fact that even mainland audiences have been warming up to films with a strong Hong Kong accent. Last year, Wong Jing’s old school comedy, On His Majesty’s Secret Service, grossed $14.9m (RMB102m) in China.

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