Hong Kong Film Festival to Put Spotlight on Sylvia Chang

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The multi-hyphenate, who has starred in almost a hundred films and wrote, directed and produced numerous others, will be the event's "filmmaker in focus"

Award-winning actress-director-screenwriter Sylvia Chang has been named the "filmmaker in focus" at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

The 39th edition of the festival will screen 13 of her films to celebrate her career. Among the screenings will be the world premiere of her latest directorial work, Murmur of the Hearts, and her earlier work Legend of the Mountain (1979), That Day on the Beach (1983), Passion (1986), Queen of Temple Street (1990), Tempting Heart (1999), and 20 30 40 (2004).

Chang will appear in person at a "Face to Face" seminar on April 5 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to talk about film, art and her life.

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Chang was born in 1953 in Taiwan's Chiayi City. Along with her family, she moved to Hong Kong and New York and returned to Taiwan when she was 15. She made her screen debut in The Flying Tiger (1973), and subsequently won the best supporting actress award at the Golden Horse Awards for her work in Li Hsing's Posterity and Perplexity (1976). She starred in Li Han-hsiang's The Dream of the Red Chamber (1977) and King Hu's Legend of the Mountain.

She also turned her attention to work behind the camera, working as assistant director on Lung Kong’s Laugh In (1976). She later co-founded Unique Films. The company financed Ann Hui's feature film debut The Secret (1979), which was one of the milestones of the Hong Kong New Wave Cinema.

Chang made her directorial debut with Once Upon a Time (1981), stepping in after the original director Tu Chung-hsun was killed in a car accident. In 1986, Chang wrote, direct, and starred in Passion. Her screenplays for Siao Yu (1995), Tonight Nobody Goes Home (1996) and Tempting Heart (1999) won awards at the Asia Pacific Film Festival and Hong Kong Film Awards.

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Chang has starred in almost a hundred films in her four-decade-long career, including blockbuster Aces Go Places (1982), as well as English-language productions Soursweet (1988) and The Red Violin (1998). She has won the Golden Horse best actress award twice, for her performances in My Grandfather (1981) and Passion. And she won the Hong Kong Film Awards best actress honor for Passion and Forever and Ever (2001).

Chang has also served as vice chair of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (2010–2013), president of the Taipei International Film Festival (2011–2014) and chairwoman of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (since 2014).