Hong Kong Festival Sets Debut Features as Opening Film Pair

The Hong Kong International Film Festival next month will host two debut features, drama “Omotenashi” by Jay Chern, and mystery “Xiao Mei” by Maren Hwang as its opening gala titles.

Christian Petzold’s recent Berlin competition title “Transit” will play as the HKIFF’s awards gala film. And the festival will close with veteran Japanese director Yoji Yamada’s “What A Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife, My Life.” The festival runs from March 19 – April 5, 2018.

Werner Herzog’s 2016 film “Into the Inferno” will play as a gala on the occasion of a masterclass by the German director. Tsai Ming-liang’s VR piece “The Deserted,” which premiered last year in Venice will receive a special presentation. Tsai will also host a masterclass event.

The Cinephile Paradise section hosts a wide range of films that have become established as favorites on the international festival circuit. They include: Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country,” Thomas Stuber’s “In The Aisles,” Samuel Maoz’s “Foxtrot,” Zaid Doueri’s “The Insult,” Armando Ianucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really There,” and Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project.”

The Firebird young cinema competition is headed by titles that include another festival favorite “Angels Wear White,” and Yang Mingming’s “Girls Always Happy.”

The Pan-Chinese cinema section contains a selection of recent Hong Kong titles including: “I Miss You When I See You,” “Our Time Will Come,” “Chasing the Dragon,” “Love Education,” and “God of War.”
It is also home to the world premiere of Jiang Jiachen’s “Looking for Lucky,” Wang Qiang’s “Sunshine That Can Move Mountains,” Pengfei’s “The Taste of Rice Flower,” and Cai Chengjie’s “The Widowed Witch.”

Veteran Hong Kong actress, Brigitte Lin is the focus of a retrospective. The festival will screen her first film “Outside the Window” and her reteaming with director Sung Tsun-shou on “Ghost of the Mirror.” Other Lin-starring films to play out include: “The Dream of the Red Chamber,” “Red Dust,” and “The Bride With White Hair.”

Other festival sections find room for Barbet Schroeder’s “The Venerable W,” which was banned last year in Singapore, “Rima Das’ “Village Rockstars,” Mouly Surya’s “Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts,” and Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider.”

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