Hong Kong Festival Unveils 40th Anniversary
Courtesy of Berlinale

The Hong Kong International Film Festival will kick off its 40th anniversary celebrations with the twin opening night screenings of mainland Chinese comedy “Chongqing Hot Pot,” and the Johnnie To-produced “Trivisa.”

Running for 15 days (March 21 – April 4, 2016), the festival will close with the world premiere of Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s thriller “Creepy.”

The lineup was announced at an event on Wednesday in Kowloon’s Mong Kok district. The selection runs to a hefty 240 titles from 66 territories.

“It is good to celebrate Hong Kong cinema in the festival’s 40th year, keeping a diverse profile that is different to the action and kung fu genre that is Hong Kong’s brand name, said Roger Garcia, executive director of the HKIFF Society.

Emphasizing his Hong Kong industry roots, Wong Kar-wai will present 14 films from his Jettone company, which also celebrates its 25th anniversary. Two titles are previously unseen in Hong Kong: an extended version of Wong’s “The Hand,” previously part of the “Eros” anthology; and the 3D version of Wong’s “The Grandmaster.”

A medley of China’s Jia Zhangke, Japan’s Nakata Hideo, Taiwan’s Alec Su and Hong Kong’s Stanley Kwan collaborate on ensemble piece “Beautiful,” which is sponsored by the festival and has its premiere there.

The awards night gala will feature “Crosscurrent,” which played earlier this month in competition in Berlin.

Noted international talent presenting masterclasses include Bela Tarr, Tsai Ming-liang, Sono Sion, Kurosawa and Canada’s Denis Cote. Wong will hold a seminar.

The festival also contains sidebars dedicated to French and Korean films. The Hong Kong Panorama stretches from commercial hits “SPL2: A Time For Consequences,” and “Little Big Master,” to musical drama “Office” and the controversial drama “10 Years.” The Mainland Chinese selection runs from magical realist “Kaili Blues,” through to generational tale “River” and drama-romance “Mountain Cry,” by Larry Yang.

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