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Paris Cinema International Film Festival Unveils Hong Kong in Focus

Johnnie To
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Paris Cinema International Film Festival collaborates with the Hong Kong International Film Festival to bring classics and little-seen films in the last half century of Hong Kong cinema to Paris.

HONG KONG – In collaboration with the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Paris Cinema International Film Festival (PCIFF) marks its 10th anniversary with a special program titled 'Hong Kong in Focus' to celebrate Hong Kong cinema. The program is backed by Create Hong Kong, a government agency set up for the creative industries in the region, alongside the Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels, to be held from June 29 through July 10.

The program will be launched by a four-film tribute to Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To, who will be in Paris with his frequent leading actor Lau Ching-wan on June 29 for the all-night show of the director’s Loving You (1995), Lifeline (1997), The Longest Nite (1998), and The Mission (1999). Concurrently, an overnight cult movie marathon will be shown, which includes cult classics The Untold Story (1993) by Herman Yau, and Lam Nai-choi’s The Story of Ricky (1991).

A diverse selection of the outstanding work of Hong Kong cinema from the 1950s to the present times is featured in the program. These range from little-seen mid-century films such as Lee Tit’s In the Face of Demolition (1955), and Patrick Lung Kong’s social realist drama Teddy Girls (1969), to the classics of 1970s filmmakers collectively known as the Hong Kong New Wave, including Allen Fong, Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Tsui Hark, and Yim Ho; and the more recent representations from filmmakers such as Wong Kar Wai, Peter Chan, Stanley Kwan, and Fruit Chan. The program is rounded up by a collection of short films by young talents selected by the Fresh Wave – International Short Film Festival. 

“Hong Kong has been chosen for its renowned position in Asian cinema and the appeal of Hong Kong films in France,” said PCIFF president Charlotte Rampling. “For the very first time, the PCIFF will introduce a wealth of Hong Kong films to celebrate the long tradition and amazing creativity of Hong Kong cinema, its artists and its dynamic industry. A tribute to a major movie capital from another!”

In addition to his attendance at the four-film presentation, Johnnie To will host a master class on July 1. Also to be making an appearance at the festival is Allen Fong (Father and Son), for a round table discussion on Hong Kong New Wave cinema on July 4, action choreographer Yuen Wo-ping (The Matrix trilogy), young director Heiward Mak (Ex, Diva), and Hong Kong Film Award best actress Kara Hui (At the End of Daybreak).

Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council Jack So, Hong Kong International Film Festival Society chairman Wilfred Wong, Hong Kong Film Development Council vice chairman and Media Asia mogul Peter Lam, and Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union Mary Chow will also attend as representatives of the Hong Kong host organizations.

“Cinema has always been an integral part of Hong Kong culture,” said Wilfred Wong. “It deeply reflects and shapes the way we live. We have had great pleasure in collaborating with the PCIFF and are grateful to receive such recognition for our cinematic heritage and film industry.”

Two Hong Kong projects are also in the selection of PCIFF’s development and financing platform, Paris Project.  Director Jessey Tsang Tsui-shan and producer Teresa Kwong will present Flowing Stories, while director Flora Goh and producer Melissa Lee will bring Bent to Paris Project.