IFFAM: Pang Ho-cheung Readies Martial Arts Three-Parter

Pang Ho-cheung, one of the most creative talents in the Hong Kong film industry, is poised to make his biggest project to date. He is just weeks away from shooting a trilogy of martial arts films whose Chinese title translates simply as “Kung Fu Story.”

Pang, who is a whirl of energy, spinning out novels, screenplays and executive production activities, has a track record of edgy films – revisionist romance “Love in a Puff,” sex comedy “Vulgaria,” and property-themed horror “Dream Home” – so he is unlikely to leave the martial arts genre completely untouched.

Plot and casting details are currently scarce, but Pang teases: “Ever since childhood, I’ve always taken different paths. My most recent film, ‘Love off the Cuff,” was not a single-issue movie. (“Kung Fu Story”) will continue in that vein.”

“We’re going to shoot all three together, so we’ve spent a year a year and a half on preparation, and have now move into pre-production,” Pang told Variety. He was speaking on the margins of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao, where he is a guest speaker at a masterclass.

“I’m very aware of the scale of the budget. In some ways it gives more freedom, in other ways I’m constantly reminded of my responsibility to the investors,” he said. The trio is backed by several companies. Hong Kong-based distributor and sales agent, Bravos Pictures is handling the international rights.

Pang, who has cleverly navigated his way between commercial and art-house film-making, and between the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese industries, is keen to use his reputation to lend a helping hand to up-and-coming film makers. He was recently executive producer on Singaporean director Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” and is currently exec producing several more films in the U.S. These include horror “Browse” by director Mike Testin, in which a man sees his personal electronic devices increasingly control his life.

“I love co-operating with film makers from elsewhere,’ Pang said. “Doing so helps me to learn different skills and techniques, and how different cinema industries work.”

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