Hong Kong’s Avilion will return to the Croisette in a virtual format for the second year as pandemic restrictions remain tight in Hong Kong.
Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Online Pavilion has 16 participating companies, including Edko Films, Emperor Motion Pictures, Entertaining Power, Golden Scene, Mandarin Motion Pictures, Media Asia, Mei Ah Entertainment and Universe Films Distribution.
While the majority of these sales and production companies will not be able to meet their international buyers in person, the programming team and industry office of the Hong Kong International Film Festival will travel to Cannes for the first time. for three years, accompanied by five titles from the HAF Goes to Cannes program: A room of his own (of Israel), silent ghosts and The Sunnyside of the street (both in Hong Kong), ship island (China) and The spark (India).
Traveling from China is no longer practical as the country continues to pursue its zero-Covid policy despite relatively low case numbers. As of this writing, the strict pandemic restrictions in Shanghai – which have kept millions of residents confined to their homes for more than a month – have yet to be eased, while mass testing has increased to Beijing. There will be several mainland Chinese representatives on the ground from sales companies such as Asian Shadows and Parallax Films, although most of them are based in Europe and do not travel from Asia.
Cinema closures continue to be a hot topic in Hong Kong and China three years into the pandemic. Over the past five-day Labor Day holiday (April 30 to May 4), China’s box office fell 82% to $45 million (RMB 297 million) year-on-year. another, largely because on average only 67.6% of cinemas were in operation, according to ticketing platform Dengta.
Cinemas in Hong Kong finally reopened on April 21 after being closed for more than 100 days during the territory’s fifth and deadliest Covid wave. From May 19, seating restrictions will be relaxed to 85% capacity and moviegoers will once again be able to eat and drink in the auditoriums.
Hong Kong distributors, meanwhile, are bundling their line-ups, with a wide variety of local titles set to hit theaters in the second half of this year, from feel-good comedies and thrillers to romance and of horror. They include Chilli Laugh Story (fixed for July 28), Far far away (August 4) and Table for six (September 8 for the Mid-Autumn Festival), as well as How it burns, Cyber Heist (previously called Unplugged), Just 1 day, Social distancing and To be confronted among others.
Real. Wu Lang
After his short film of the same name selected in short film competition at Cannes last year, the Haikou-based Chinese director Wu returns with a first feature that reunites him with the same cast – Lee Kang-Sheng (Days) and Li Meng (A touch of sin). Sharing a similar story, the new film follows two former lovers who rekindle their love after 10 years apart. But the pressing realities of their current lives are felt. Backers include Haikou Qinglan Visual Art Development, Shanghai Turan Movie and Hangzhou’s Joicy Studio. Formerly known as Spring lies forsakenthe project won the Jury Prize at the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival Project Market.
The gods are watching
Real. Yes sir
Fashion designer-turned-director Yesir’s second film is set in his hometown of Quanzhou, a historic city where various religions live in harmony. The story follows an elderly woman, played by Hong Kong actress Nina Paw, whose religious beliefs begin to crumble when the village temple she cares for is taken over by a nun. Yesir (real name Ye Qian) is an award-winning fashion designer whose feature debut Koali & Ricewhich also focused on older women, was screened in Moscow, Munich and at the Pingyao Film Festivals in China.
Contact: Cao Liuying, Parallax International Sales
The Italian recipe
Real. Hou Zuxin
Chinese director Hou’s feature debut, which recently opened April’s Far Eastern Film Festival in Udine, Italy, is a romantic comedy about a Chinese pop star who travels to Rome for a reality show. and meets a young woman who is an aspiring chef. This is the second official Italy-China co-production, with Orisa Produzioni, Dauphine Film, Rai Cinema and Fun Age Pictures among the backers. The cast is led by Huang Yao, who won multiple Best New Performer and Best Actress awards for her role in The passage (2018) and Liu Xun (almost a comedy). Hou’s credits include a short documentary My dad is a rocker about his father Hou Muren, a rock music pioneer.
Contact: Vicky Ding, Blossoms Entertainment
Real. larry yang
This action-comedy stars Jackie Chan as a scruffy stuntman who becomes a media sensation after video of his real-life fight with debt collectors, which features his beloved stuntman, becomes public. viral. Liu Haocun (cliff walkers) and Kevin Guo (Love) co-starred in the film, which pays homage to Chan’s high-octane cinematic stunts that set the benchmark for modern action comedies. Backers include Alibaba Pictures, Beijing Hairun Pictures and Zhejiang Hengdian Film. A China release is set for December 31 for the coveted New Year’s window. Previous works by Chinese director Yang include Lovea light comedy about pets that made $100 million at the Chinese box office, and mountain cry, the closing film of the Busan International Film Festival in 2015.
Contact: Clarence Tang, Golden Network Asia
Rob N Roll
Real. Albert Mak
With a stellar cast including Aaron Kwok (Project Gutenberg), Lam Ka Tung (Limbo) and Richie Jen (trivisa), this action crime thriller follows two wannabe thieves who end up in a police shootout and end up as hostages of a real ruthless thief following a series of unfortunate coincidences. Derek Yee (The heard series) serves as producer for this latest film by Mak, who in recent years has worked primarily as a co-director (A treasure for life) and Executive Director (war on drugs, blind detective and life without principles).
Contact: Grace Chan, Entertaining Power
Real. Gilitte Leung
This suspenseful thriller revolves around a phone-obsessed young woman who relies entirely on technology, until a sinister e-ghost she meets on YouTube begins to interfere in her life. The cast includes Gladys Li (You are the only one), Jeana Ho (novelist’s disappointment) and Angus Yeung (raging fire). Hong Kong director Leung studied fashion design and worked as a composer before turning to film. She made her feature film debut in 2012 with an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy Don’t love me.
Contact: Miriam Cheung, Films of the Emperor
say. Huang Ji, Ryuji Otsuka
The husband and wife team behind egg and stone and The crazy bird presents this coming-of-age drama as the final installment in a trilogy about the struggles of young Chinese women. Stone wall follows a 20-year-old college student who, due to an unplanned pregnancy, returns to her hometown and offers her soon-to-be-born baby as repayment for her mother’s debt. Japanese co-director Otsuka is also a producer and cinematographer. egg and stone won the Rotterdam Tiger Award in 2012, while The crazy bird received a special mention in the Generation 14plus section of the Berlinale in 2017.
Contact: Pearl Chan, Good Move Media
Real. Herman Yau
Written by its regular screenwriter Erica Li, Yau of Hong Kong tackles a disciplinary force rarely seen in Hong Kong – customs and excise. This action-thriller features an all-star cast: Jacky Cheung (heaven in the dark), Karena Lam (american girl), Cya Liu (Limbo), Francis Ng (Derivative) and Nicholas Tse (raging fire), also in his first acting director role. Yau’s blockbuster hits include the Shock wave and white storm series.
Contact: Miriam Cheung, Films of the Emperor
Real. Marc Ma
Nick Cheung (The white storm), Ethan Juan (monga) and Wang Talu (Our era) lead the cast of Chinese actor Ma’s directorial debut. The action-thriller is set in a criminal underworld where rival gangs operate side-by-side, but their order is soon violated when a criminal arrives. mysterious. iQiyi Pictures (Beijing) and Xiamen Hengye Pictures are producing the film, which has New order as its Chinese title.
Contact: Bryce Tsao, iQiyi