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FilMart: ‘Impossible Split’ Tops Biggest Ever HAF Project Market

Hong Kong film project “Impossible Split” and an untitled Japanese film project came out as the top winners of the HAF Awards. In its 15th year, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum project market offered 14 prizes to 33 producer and director teams seeking finance and international partners.

Winner of the Hong Kong Project category was “Impossible Split,” a $1.2 million drama based on the true story of Hong Kong sportsman Wu Siu-hong, who went through ups and downs to become the world champion bowler. It is to be directed by Tommy Tom Chung-sing, who was involved in the post-production work of “Kill Bill” and “Kung Fu Hustle”.

The untitled Japanese film that won the HAF’s non-Hong Kong award is to be directed by Tehran-born director Ida Panahandeh and produced by Japan’s Kawase Naomi. To be produced with a budget of $500,000, it will be shot in Nara and is positioned as a modern version of “one of Shakespeare’s pieces with a woman character” as the main role.

Singaporean comedy project “La Luna” was the biggest winner this year, bagging both the Wouter Barendrecht Award and the White Light Post-Production Award (HAF Project). Directed by M. Raihan Hal, it is about a young woman challenging age-old traditions in a strict Muslim village.

A second Hong Kong project winner was “Forget You, Still Love You?,” which took the MM2 Award. To be directed by Kenneth Lai Siu-kwan and Paul Sze Pak-lam, the film is a romance about a 40-year-old couple who find love again when the husband is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Other winners were “The Patient” by China’s Yang Long, which won the iQIYI Special Award; “Drifting Lives” by China’s Danlly Li, which took the HAF/Fox Project Award; “The Asadas” by Japan’s Ryota Nakano, which took home the Paris Cooperation Village Award; “Femme Fatale” by Japan’s Kyoko Miyake, winner of the Network of Asian Fantastic Films Award; “Rainbow Mountain” by China’s Yun Degena, who won the Wutianming Post Production Award; “Village Rockstars” by Rima Das of India, winner of the White Light Post-Production Award (WIP Lab Project); “I Am a Banana”, a Singaporean-Canadian production directed by Honey B Singh, which bagged the G2D Post-Production Award; “The Third Wife”, a Vietnam film by Nguyen Phuong-Anh, which took the G2D Post-Production Award (WIP Lab Project); “Omotenashi” by a Taiwanese-Japanese creation directed by Jay Chern, winner of the Wanda Wip Lab Award.

Four projects — “Omotenashi”, “The Third Wife”, “Village Rockstars” and “Echoes” — will be presented again in May at the Cannes Market under a new “Hong Kong Goes to Cannes” program.

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