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Hong Kong remains a charming “character” for global film audiences, despite the change in government and recent political turmoil, says Japanese director Takashi Miike.

The maverick filmmaker landed Macau on Friday night for the world premiere of his latest offering “The Mole Song – Hong Kong Capriccio” at the inaugural International Film Festival & Awards Macao at The Venetian.

Hong Kong is the backdrop of Miike’s new film “The Mole Song – Hong Kong Capriccio,” a sequel to the 2013 film adapted from manga series “Mogura no Uta”. The story chronicles the adventure of cop Reiji Kikukawa. Actor Toma Ikuta returned as the lead character, who embarked on a journey to Hong Kong in the second instalment of the title.

Miike and his crew including lead actor Toma Ikuta said they touched the ground only 10 minutes before the press conference began at Macau’s Four Seasons Hotel.

The prolific director told his audience that, Hong Kong remained a fascinating place and that it is a character in the films shot there. “I was born in the 1960s and my impression of Hong Kong has always been a sparkly city. And of course there is the amazing night view and Bruce Lee,” said Miike. “Despite the change of government in 1997 (the handover of Hong Kong to China from the Brits), I still believe that Hong Kong will have a happy ending.”

“To the people in Japan, Hong Kong is a very attractive place. It it yet it is different from Macau, which is also very charming,” said the director, who first visited Macau 30 years ago.

Ikuta said the action and gags in the sequel were taken to a new level, and the fact that Hong Kong being the backdrop of the film helped.

“This time Hong Kong is the stage for our story, and I really hope that audiences in Hong Kong will have a chance to see the film,” Ikuta said.

“We hope this film will make you laugh out loud. It is a film about a superhero directed by a superhero.”

Miike did not commit the film makers to a third instalment. He said that the original manga series is still being written. And he dropped a heavy hint that the latest story takes the characters to Italy. “Let’s see if we have the courage we need to make a third instalment,” the director said.