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Hong Kong International Film Festival - an FFW festival profile
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Hong Kong International Film Festival

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  • Hong Kong, China March 2015, TBA
  • Call for Entry Deadline: December 2014, TBA
    Submission deadline extended to 14 January 2012
  • Festival Data:
    • Established: 1977
    • Attendance: 590000
    • Media Attendance: 850
    • Accredited Industry Attendance: 4500
    • Total Number of Films Screened: 290
    • Total Screenings: 500
    • Competitive
    • Has Panels
  • Festival Website:
  • Festival Description:

    The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of Asia’s most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new works and experience outstanding cinema. Established in 1977, the 16-day event showcases over 200 new films, six seminars and forums, ten press conferences (with 300 Asian and 200 foreign press and media delegates) and 450 overseas guests and international celebrities.

    HKIFF continues its salute to outstanding filmmakers and their works through 4 competition sections namely, “SONY HDV Asian Digital Competition” (sponsored by Sony Handycam; formerly called Asian DV Competition), “Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries” (sponsored by Lee Hysan Foundation), “Fipresci Prize” and “SIGNIS Award” co-organized with SIGNIS Hong Kong. A new competition section “Fresh Wave Joint-U Short Film Competition” was introduced in 2007 and aimed at nurturing new talents, co-organized with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (sponsored by Yu Tai Hing Company Limited)

    In addition to competitive programs, HKIFF presents retrospective programs including screenings, seminars and photo exhibitions of annually chosen filmmaker luminaries.

    The 30th HKIFF co-organized “The 11th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards 2005 Showcases” with the Hong Kong Arts Centre and “The Devil’s Playground – Joint Universities Programme” with 5 local institutes & universities including Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts , Hong Kong Baptist University, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Kwun Tong) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

  • Film Submissions:
  • Email:info(at)hkiff.org.hk
    Phone:(852) 2102 7388
    Fax:(852) 2970-3011
    Mailing Address: 22/F, 181 Queen's Road Central,
    Hong Kong


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  • Awards were presented in the Asian Digital Competition, Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries, FIPRESCI Prize, SIGNIS Awards and the inaugural Short Film Competition.

    The Asian Digital Competition encourages young filmmakers in Asia to explore the potential of the digital media. The Golden Digital Award at the Asian Digital Competition went to Sun Spots by previous FIPRESCI Prize winner at the 31st HKIFF, Yang Heng (Betelnut). The film features the intensity of human relationships expressed in an original cinematic language of powerful visuals that leads to a new art form of film. The Silver Digital Award went to the director, Zhao Dayong for his feature debut, The High Life.

    Zhao Dayong also received the FIPRESCI Prize for The High Life, for its poetic, profound and modern style of fragmented beauty with an aesthetic critique of society. The FIPRESCI Special Mention went to Tangle, the directorial debut by the award-winning cinematographer of Blind Shaft, Liu Yonghong. Presented by the International Federation of Film Critics since the 23rd HKIFF, the FIPRESCI Prize aims to promote film-art and encourages new and young cinema.

    The Humanitarian Award for Documentaries went to director Zhao Liang for his film Petition, which offers an epic-scale analysis of some key social and psychological issues in present-day China. The Outstanding Documentary Award went to Enemies of the People by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath. The film offers a frank (and still shocking) account of what happened on Cambodia’s “killing fields”.

    The first recipient of the Short Film Competition Grand Prize was Hanasaari A, an experimental Finnish documentary jointly directed by Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen, for its recognition of a disappearing environment and the transience of time. The Jury Prize went to The Berlin Wall directed by Brighton-born filmmaker, Paul Cotter. The film successfully shows how emotions towards the Berlin Wall still run high 20 years after it was torn down.

    Co-organised with SIGNIS Hong Kong since 2004, the SIGNIS Awards is a salute to quality films with significant artistic, human, social, and spiritual values. The SIGNIS Award this year went to A Brand New Life, a semi-autobiographical tale by French-Korean Ounie Lecomte who, with her artistic talent, can point out those almost insignificant details that actually really matter. The SIGNIS Commendation was presented to the Finish director Klaus Härö (Mother of Mine) for his latest film, Letters to Father Jacob.
  • The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which develops, promotes and encourages creativity in the art and culture of film through the presentation of the annual Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF). The Society is also committed to organizing regular programs and other film related activities throughout the year in order to promote the art and creativity of cinema, with an international dimension and outlook.

    In 2007, the Society further demonstrated its commitment to the development of a vibrant film culture by organizing three flagship events; the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and the Asian Film Awards (AFA).

    Golden Digital Award: What the Heart Craves (Japan), Takahashi Izumi
    Silver Digital Award: Little Moth (China), Peng Tao
    Humanitarian Award for Best Documentary: Yasukuni (China/Japan), Li Ying
    Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary: Bingai (China), Feng Yan
    Grand Prize, Fresh Wave Short Film Competition: The Monk (Hong Kong), Chan Siu-hei
    FIPRESCI Prize: Wonderful Town (Thailand), Aditya Assarat
    SIGNIS Award: Empties (Czech Republic/UK), Jan Svěrák

    Highlights of the 32nd edition were a complete retrospective of Edward Yang, the world-renowned Taiwanese auteur who passed away in 2007 as well as special sections on Young Taiwanese Cinema, Israeli Cinema and Czech Cinema. Chinese Renaissance, a stage for new films and filmmakers from the Chinese Mainland, once again premiered important new works from directors such as Wang Xiaoshuai, Gu Changwei, and Ning Hao. This year’s guests of honor were Yamada Yoji, who recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from HKIFF’s sister event, the Asian Film Awards (AFA) and whose latest film, Kabei – Our Mother, was an Opening Film of the 32nd HKIFF, as well as Peter Greenaway and Bela Tarr. Also present were Filmmaker in Focus – Eric Tsang, who contributed two World Premieres along with eight earlier works to this year’s film festival, and Ishii Yuya, recipient of the Edward Yang New Talent Award at the 2nd AFA.
  • Ron Havilio’s film “Potosi, the Journey” won the Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary. In “Potosi, the Journey,” the Havilio family of five and a Super 16 camera take the audience 4,000 meters up in the Andes Mountains to the once prosperous town of Potosi. Formerly rich with silver reserves yet now ravaged by years of pillaging thieves and almost entirely abandoned, Havilio and his family live and work with the remaining locals in the silver mines, while examining family connections, greed and the frailty of memory.

    “This is my first film in Hong Kong and I'm very glad to have won the award,” he said. “My film is not an easy one. It's very long and it's very much anti- mainstream. I worked for seven years on this film and during this period of time
    I watched the world change. I was worried that no one would be interested in this film any more. Thus I'm very glad. The award means that this film has its value. I'm especially touched by the fact that I won this award from an Asian jury.”
  • With the Kiwi filmmaking industry continuingly becoming more vibrant, their presence can be felt at many festivals around the world. The 2007 Hong Kong International Film Festival was not to be left off their festival circuit.

    The New Zealand Consulate-General collaborated with the HKIFF for the first time and held a reception to celebrate their association. During the reception, held at City Hall before the premiere of “Out Of the Blue,” directed by Robert Sarkies, New Zealand Consul-General Julian Ludbrook said he hoped that people in Hong Kong could learn more about the country of New Zealand and the vibrant filmmaking scene, which has more to offer than just Peter Jackson.

    Mr. Ludbrook hoped that by showing films that might not be commercially viable, people can look beyond movies such as “Lord of the Rings” and “King Kong.” Other than filmmaking, Mr. Ludbrook encouraged Hong Kong people to visit the country not just for the breathtaking scenery, but the working visa arrangements with the Hong Kong government, which can give Hong Kong youngsters a taste of New Zealand lifestyle.

    Robert Sarkies was also on hand at the festival to discuss his film, “Out Of the Blue,” a narrative feature telling the true story of the Aramoana tragedy in 1990. As a proud Kiwi, Sarkies explained that the New Zealand Film Commission has been involved in all New Zealand films for the past 25 years, producing about three to five feature films yearly (excluding those digitally made.) Despite the low budgets, the films tend to garner international critical acclaim throughout the festival circuit.

    “I have no desire to make films in the US,” he says, “I have better support back home. For me, it's only 10-minute drive from my home to one of the best post-production studios. Such top facilities are as available to big filmmakers like Peter Jackson as to a small filmmaker like me. Why should I leave?”
  • The 2nd Fresh Wave Short Film Competition Grand Prize: “Merry X’mas”
    Directed by Jevons Au

    Signis Award: “The Italian”
    Directed by Andrei Kravchuk (Russia)

    Special Mention: “Fresh Air”
    Directed by Agnes Kocsis (Hungary)

    and “The Island”
    Directed by Pavel Lounguine (Russia)

    FIRPRESCI Winner: “Betelnut”
    Directed by Yang Heng (China)

    Humanitarian Award for Best Documentary: “Nanking”
    Directed by Bill Gunttetag and Dan Sturman (USA)

    Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary: “Potosi, The Journey”
    Directed by Ron Havilio (Israel/France)

    Golden Digital Award: “Love Conquers All”
    Directed by Tan Chui-mui (Malaysia)

    Silver Digital Award: “Betelnut”
    Directed by Yang Heng (China)
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