Wong to live and die with 'Mongkok'

Throwback film now shooting, set for late 2009 release

HONG KONG – Old school Hong Kong hitmaker Wong Jing will press the acting winners of this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards into service for his psychological drama “To Live and Die in Mongkok," now in production and scheduled for release at the end of 2009.

The $1 million film, wholly produced by Wong’s Mega-Vision Pictures, features a cast of freshly minted winners including best actor Nick Cheung and best supporting actor Liu Kai-chi (both for “The Beast Stalker”), best actress Paw Hee-ching and best supporting actress Chan Lai-wun (both for “The Way We Are”). 

The film’s cast and tone hark back to the heyday of Hong Kong cinema, and with a story set in Mongkok, a shopping/residential area that is the thumping heart of the city and the most populated area in the world.  Written, directed and produced by Wong, the film tells the story of a schizophrenic ex-con who sees Mongkok as a prison he cannot get out of, when he returns to society after spending 30 years in jail.

“I wouldn’t say the market for local productions in Hong Kong has picked up, but there’s room for locally-produced films,” Wong told The Hollywood Reporter. 

Wong’s Mega-Vision has produced director Ann Hui’s 2008 award-winning “The Way We Are” and its 2009 companion piece, “Night and Fog," along with as Wong’s April release “Corrupt All Cops," a Hong Kong-Chinese co-production.

“As long as the budget is not too high, we want to finance our own films that preserves the distinct flavor of Hong Kong cinema,” added Wong, who has established Mega-Vision with listed entertainment company See Corporation, where Wong serves as managing and executive director.