HAF keeps eye on young talent


HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong -- Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has grown into one of the most dynamic and valued sections of the Hong Kong Filmart, with many of Asia's biggest filmmakers and most promising up-and-comers entering their highly anticipated new titles.

Now in its sixth edition, this year's HAF runs Monday-Wednesday, presenting 25 projects that bring together regional filmmakers and international financiers in an attempt to facilitate co-productions and co-ventures.

HAF films will vie for five awards totaling $41,000 in cash and $30,000 of in-kind services and products. Awards will be presented on Wednesday.

Prominent titles include Ning Hao's "7 Dreams," Nonzee Nimibutr's "Secret of the Butterfly," Cai Shangjun's "Adrift Time," Hideo Nakata's "Gensenkan," Park Chan-wook's "Thirst," and Bong Joon-ho's "Mother."

There are six films from China, six from Hong Kong, four from South Korea, three from Taiwan, three from Japan, two from Thailand, one from Malaysia, one from the Philippines, one from Iran and one from the U.K. (several are co-productions representing more than one region).

Past HAF projects have include Li Yu's "Lost in Beijing," Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata," and Kim Jee-woon's "The Good, the Bad and the Weird."

HAF is organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, along with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Kowloon & New Territories Motion Picture Industry Assn.