×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Better Days’ Director Derek Tsang Lands in World Cinema Spotlight

Hong Kong actor-director Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang has recently found himself in the spotlight of the world of cinema, but for the wrong reason.

Tsang will be joining a Hong Kong filmmakers panel at FilMart on Thursday with Sunny Chan (“Man on the Dragon”) and Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff”).

The 39-year-old filmmaker was expecting a world premiere of his second full-length drama feature as a director, Hong Kong-Chinese co-production “Better Days,” at the recent Berlin Film Festival, but it was pulled just days before its scheduled bow. Later in the festival, Zhang Yimou’s “One Second” was withdrawn from its Berlin bow. The events sparked speculation on how China is tightening its grip on censorship and creativity.

“Better Days” was reportedly pulled because it did not obtain permits from the mainland Chinese authorities required to travel to international film festivals.

The son of star Eric Tsang, Derek once told the media that his passion for the cinematic art was not fully developed until he was 15. He began his showbiz career as an actor in 2003, and launched his career as a helmer in 2010, co-directing romantic drama “Lover’s Discourse.” Unlike other young film directors who focus on Hong Kong stories and making films locally, Tsang worked mostly in mainland China. His full-length feature as a solo director debuted in 2016 with the acclaimed “Soul Mate,” a drama revolving the friendship and secrets between two women. The film earned him nominations for best director and best new director at the Hong Kong Film Awards and best Hong Kong/Taiwan director at the 8th China Film Director’s Guild Awards.

The success gave Tsang a lot of hope for the Chinese film industry. He told the media in 2017 that the rapid growth of the China market has opened doors to young Hong Kong filmmakers as big name directors can do big-budget movies on the mainland, giving room to new directors to work on smaller films.

Only Tsang’s next career moves will show whether his views on the China film biz have changed after the withdrawal of “Better Days” from Berlin.

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content