HAF unveils projects for 2008

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HONG KONG -- The 25 Asian film projects selected for the 2008 Hong Kong -- Asia Film Financing Forum were announced Wednesday.

The lineup for the sixth edition of HAF is dominated by projects from China, South Korea and Japan and features projects from such renowned Asian directors as Japan's Nakata Hideo ("The Ring" series), Korea's Park Chan-wook ("Old Boy"), China's Li Yang ("Blind Shaft") and Hong Kong's Pang Ho-cheung ("Isabella").

HAF 2008 will be held simultaneously with sister events HK Filmart and the Asian Film Awards. International film financiers, producers, bankers, distributors, buyers and financiers will meet with filmmakers to discuss project investments.

"The projects submitted to HAF 2008 were of an extremely high standard and we had to reject a number of very high-quality projects unfortunately," said Wouter Barendrecht, HAF reading committee member and co-chairman of Fortissimo Film Sales. "If this sets the tone for the films to come in 2008-09, Asian cinema is flourishing."

Projects from previous HAF editions include helmer Kim Jee-woon's "The Good, the Bad and the Weird," which has recently wrapped and is set for release this February in Korea. Chinese director Lu Chuan's "Nanking! Nanking!" and Ning Hao's "Silver Medalist" will soon complete production and Clara Law's "The Messenger," which stars Guy Pearce and Radha Mitchell, will begin shooting in July.

A number of former HAF projects have debuted at international film festivals, including "Lost in Beijing" by Chinese director Li Yu and "Getting Home" by Zhang Yang at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as Taiwanese helmer Lin Chin-je's "The Most Distant Course" at the Venice Film Festival. Kenneth Bi's "The Drummer" became the first Hong Kong film to compete at the Sundance Film Festival.

A complete list of projects follows:

China

“7 Dreams,” Ning Hao
“Adrift Time,” Cai Shangjun
“The Fugitive Club,” Tang Xiru
“Mang Liu,” Li Yang
“Red Spider Lily,” Robin Weng

China/Hong Kong

“White Nights,” Sheng Zhimin

Hong Kong

“The Bus,” Pang Ho-cheung
“Detour,” Alexi Tan
“Shuffle,” Carol Miu-suet Lai

Iran

“The Taxi Passenger,” Hassan Yektapanah

Japan

“Dancing Mary,” Sabu
“Gensenkan,” Nakata Hideo
“Tsutenkaku” (tentative title), Otani Kentaro

Malaysia

“Karaoke,” Chris Chan-fui Chong

The Philippines

“Service,” Brillante Mendoza

South Korea

“Mother” (tentative title), Bong Joon-ho
“Sharaku” (tentative title), Park Tae-Choon
Untitled Park Chan-wook project, Park Chan-wook
“A Woman in Paris,” Im Sang-soo

Taiwan

“The Best Draw,” Hou Chi-jan, Shen Ko-shan, Wu Mi-sen
“Cafe Astoria,” Yee Chin-yen
“Romance Rental,” Kuo Chen-ti

Thailand

“High Society,” Aditya Assarat
“Secret of the Butterfly” (tentative title), Nonzee Nimibutr

U.K./Hong Kong

“Bloodline,” Richard Jobson
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