Golden Scene’s Winnie Tsang Relies on Instinct to Pick Pics

Arguably Hong Kong’s leading independent distributor, Winnie Tsang runs every aspect of Golden Scene, and has been doing so for the past 15 years.

Her taste runs from the high-octane thrills of “Rush” to local Hong Kong comedies such as “La Lingerie” and “Simply Actors,” on which she also took production credits.

She also has considerable smarts and foresight. This year she arrived in Toronto not to buy, but to watch a dozen movies that she had pre-bought. Tsang and Golden Scene need to be nimble in order to get ahead of the integrated local groups, such as Edko or UA/Lark/EMP, which boast either deeper pockets or theater circuits or both.

Tsang made her entry into the movie business in 1982 as a secretary at the legendary Golden Harvest group, which was then in its heyday as a producer. When Golden Harvest announced a withdrawal from distribution, Tsang saw the opportunity to start her own business.

Tsang attributes her ability to take her chances to her silent investment partner being genuinely silent. “That was my condition from the start. I don’t want them questioning every acquisition, they have to trust my judgment, and that I will repay them every year,” Tsang says. “Sometimes when you buy it is just instinct, hard to explain rationally.”

When she arrives at AFM she will do little in the way of screenings and instead largely be taking meetings with a view to buying for 2015.

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