Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum Unveils 29 Projects, New Award

Brillante Mendoza
Fabrizio Maltese

Pilipino auteur Brillante Mendoza showed Captive at Berlin 2012.

The Fushan Documentary Award aims to support and promote the development of feature-length documentaries.

HONG KONG – The 12th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) on Monday unveiled its 2014 lineup of 29 projects and said it will introduce a new honor, the Fushan Documentary Award.

The 29 projects were selected out of 300 submissions from 11 different countries and regions, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Filipino director Brilliante Mendoza, who won the best director award at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival, will returns to the HAF with two new projects in the feature film and documentary categories: The Embroiderer, about undying love, and documentary Gay Messiah, which questions religion and belief.

Our Father from Jun Robles Lana, who also hails from the Philippines and won the HAF Award 2013 with his Barber's Tales, is also part of the selection for the HAF.

There are also five Hong Kong projects. They are the thriller Game from comedian Lam Tze-chung, whose King of Shrimp Roe Noodle was a HAF 2013 project; the directorial debut Angel Whispers from award-winning actress Carrie Ng; A Nail Clipper Romance from cinematographer/director Jason Kwan, a project produced by acclaimed director and HAF veteran Pang Ho-cheung; The Sea by Philip Yung, produced by Chow Keung; and I Miss You When I See You from director Simon Chung and producer Jacqueline Liu.

In other key projects, Taiwanese director Lin Yu-Hsien follows up to his box office success Jump! Ashin with HAF film Follow You, and Bhutan's Dechen Roder will unveil The Honeygiver Among the Dogs.

HAF will this year also introduce the Fushan Documentary Award, for which all documentary projects selected for HAF will be eligible. Aiming to support and promote the development of feature-length documentaries, the award is backed by Fushan Features, a film production and financing company that focuses on documentaries across Hong Kong, China and other Asian regions. The winner of the Fushan Documentary Award will receive a cash award of $12,880 (HK$100,000) and a development contract with Fushan Features.

"Currently in Asia, particularly in mainland China, HAF provides expert guidance to wanting to enter the film industry," said Fushan CEO Qin Qing. “It also provides a strong support to the aspiring talents to enhance the status of Chinese and Asian movies. We are confident that our collaboration with HAF for the award will help encourage documentary filmmakers.”

HAF documentary projects for 2014 include Lucy and I, Sherman Ong and Brigitte Sigmundstad's exploration of origin and migration; Hip Hop Kabul, the documentary about Afghanistan's first female rapper from Fazila Amiri, who is the first Afghan filmmaker in HAF; Malegaon: Tales from The Terror Trail from Berlinale award-winning documentary filmmaker Rakesh Sharma; and Dust from Zhao Liang, about four individuals on a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, which is currently in pre-production with Wong Kar-wai's production company Jet Tone Films Limited.

HAF will be held March 24-March 26 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.