Taiwan Director Becomes the 'Apple' of Hong Kong Summer Fest's Eye

Writer Giddens Ko's first film will open the event; Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris' will close it.

HONG KONG – The debut feature film from renowned Taiwan writer Giddens Ko, You Are the Apple of My Eye, has been named opening film of this year’s Summer International Film Festival (SIFF), while Woody Allen’s career box office high Midnight in Paris closes the event, to be held August 9-23.

Ko, also known under the pseudonym “Nine Knives,” will be in Hong Kong to attend the international premiere of his autobiographical teenage romance.

Organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, the mini-festival launches its sixth edition with 25 films, including award winners such as the Rachel Weisz-starrer The Whistleblower by Canada’s Larysa Kondracki, Arirang by Korea’s Kim Ki-duk, Parade by Japan’s Yukisada Isao, Tomboy by France’s Céline Sciamma, and Make Up by Taiwan’s Lien Yi-Chi. Hong Kong cinema is conspicuous by its absence this year, the only partly Hong Kong film in the line-up is Quattro Hong Kong 2, produced by the government initiative BrandHK and previously selected as the opening film of the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March.

To attract a younger audience, there is the sidebar titled “Summer of Laughs” headlined by Japanese director Miike Takashi's latest, the anime-adaptation Ninja Kids!!!, for which the organizers will hold a competition for cosplay enthusiasts to don their ninja kits and to be judged by public voting online.

On a more somber note, SIFF pays tribute to the late French auteur Claude Chabrol with a four-film retrospective, including The Butcher (1970) and The Unfaithful Wife (1969), and the late Japanese actress Takamine Hideko, whose mid-career musical Carmen Comes Home (1951) and comedy Carmen's Innocent Love (1952) will be shown.