×

HKIFF Puts Hong Kong Firmly In Focus

HONG KONG – Housed in a new Kowloon venue, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (Mar 24 – April 7, 2014) will this year put renewed emphasis on local films.

The HKIFF will open with the twin screenings of Pang Ho-cheung’s social drama “Aberdeen” and Fruit Chan’s Berlin hit “The Midnight After.” The closing film is set as Dante Lam’s “That Demon Within” which also played in Berlin.

“We haven’t had so many Hong Kong films in the festival for four years, and it is the first time that I can remember us having three Hong Kong titles as the opening and closing galas,” said festival programmer Li Cheuk-to.

Another Hong Kong film “3D Naked Ambition,” a sex romp by Lee Kung-lok, will also get a prominent position as a midnight screening. It stars Chapman To (“Vulgaria”) and several Japanese porn starlets.

The festival will include competitive sections and tributes to iconic mainland director Jiang Wen, Iranian helmer Asghar Farhadi and French actress Isabelle Huppert.

The Young Cinema competition section play “Exit” by Chenn Hsiang; “Shadow Days’ by China’s Zhao Dayong; “Macondo,” by Austria’s Sudabeh Mortezai; “Castanha” by Brazil’s Davi Preto; “Forma,” by Japan’s Sakamoto Ayumi; “The Tale of Iya’” by Japan’s Tsuta Tetsuichiro; “Thou Wast Mild And Lovely,” by the U.S.’s Josephine Decker and Uzbekistan-Netherlands co-production “40 Days Of Silence” by Saodat Ismailova.

“We have deliberately broadened out the competition beyond East Asia this year as part of our search for global quality,” said Li. He also noted that four of the eight titles in the competition section are helmed by women.

The festival’s gala section includes Berlin Golden Bear-winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” and Asia’s other Berlin competition titles No Man’s Land, Blind Massage and The Little House as well as festival favorit “Tom At The Farm,” by Xavier Dolan, Lukas Moodysson’s “We Are The Best,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive as well as both parts of Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac.

The master class section features Tsai Ming Liang’s installation film “Journey To The West,” Wang Bing’s documentary “Til Madness Do Us Part,” Jane Campion and Garth Davis’ “Top of the Lake”, the Coen brothers’ “Inside LLewyn Davis,” and “3x3D” the experimental piece by Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway and Edgar Pira.

The tribute to Jiang Wen, China’s once-banned, now highly-popular auteur, includes all four of his feature films. Two will be presented in new versions. “In The Heat of the Sun,” will screen in a version longer than the one that previously enjoyed a release in Hong Kong and closer to the cut that unspooled in Venice. “Devils on The Doorstep,” a black comedy in which a Japanese soldier is befriended by Chinese villagers, now plays as a ‘directors’ cut,’ that is restored, digitized and is shorter than the version the HKIFF previously played.

The Huppert retrospective will play Catherine Breillat’s “Abuse Of Weakness” (2013), Michael Haneke’s “The Piano Teacher” (2001), Claude Chabrol’s “The Story of Women” (1988) and Huppert’s breakout picture Claude Goretta’s “The Lacemaker” (1977).

The HKIFF also features a 34-piece series on the unusual role of Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency in the local film and TV scene: https://variety.com/2014/film/international/hong-kong-festival-to-fete-anti-corruption-agency-1201118286/

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content