×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HAF Project Market Selection Mixes Asian Auteurs With Newcomers

New film pitches by Jun Robles Lana, Barbara Wong, Ryuskue Hamaguchi and Tom Lin are among a line-up of 23 projects selected to appear at the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). The event also sees an expanded roster of prizes and partnerships.

HAF will be held March 18-20, 2019 in Hong Kong. It runs alongside the FilMart rights market, Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Asian Film Awards.

Organizers report that they received some 350 project submissions from 10 countries and territories. The retained projects, which are seeking co-production, finance and sales partners, have target production budgets ranging from $200,000 to $10 million.

Wong (“Perfect Wedding,” “The Stolen Years”) will present “The Wedding Celebrant,” a story of a wedding official who questions her own relationship. Philippines-based “Bwakaw,” and “Die Beautiful” director, Jun Robles Lana presents survival drama “Between Sea and Sky,” a fact-based story of a Filipino fisherman who was rescued in Papua New Guinea after drifting at sea for 56 days. Another Filipino star director, Mikhail Red presents “The Grandstand,” another dramatization of real events. It follows the 2010 Manila hostage crisis, in which a disgruntled police officer seized a bus filled with Hong Kong tourists.

Japanese director Hamaguchi, whose “Asako I & II” played in competition last year in Cannes, examines non-traditional sexual orientations in Paris-set “Our Apprenticeship.” Lin’s “Life’s A Struggle” is a musical biography, examining the lives of Taiwanese rapper Shawn “M80” Sung, and his younger brother Ting, both living in Los Angeles as parachute kids, and who created the most famous Mandarin hip-hop song in history.

HAF also invited six projects from mainland China. They include new works by: Zhao Liang, the documentary “Ship of Fools – Pandora’s Box”; Zhao Wenjia’s comedy-drama “A Story of Hers”; Liu Miaomiao bipolar disorder drama “12 x 4”; Renai Wei Yongyao’s supernatural suspense-drama “The Priest in the Village”; Zhu Xin’s second feature, “Who is Sleeping on My Pillow”; and Chen Cheng’s atypical love story, “Through the Crack of the Parallel Universe.”

“The number of first-time directors, along with returning and established filmmakers, coming to this year’s HAF stands as testament to our ability to help develop and promote cinematic and artistic creativity in the region,” said Jacob Wong, HAF director.

The new partnership with the Udine Far East Film Festival sees the Italian festival select one HAF project with potential for European co-production to appear in its own FEFF Project Market, in April.

Heaven Pictures (HK) Culture and Media, and Artention-Vanke Cultural Industry will swell the roster of prizes awarded to the top HAF projects. The Heaven Pictures prize for young Hong Kong film makers is worth some $19,000 (HK$150,000). The Artention prize provides $12,800 (HK$100,000) in cash and free access to designated space in the Artention-Vanke Creative Arts Incubator in Shenzhen, China.

More Film

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Ewen Bremner as Alan McGee in

    Danny Boyle-Produced ‘Creation Stories’ Adds Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff

    Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff and a host of other new names have signed on for “Creation Stories,” the film being exec-produced by Danny Boyle about Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee. The producers also unveiled the first shots of Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting”) as the music mogul. Production is underway on the Irvine Welsh-penned project, with “Lock, [...]

  • 'Annabelle Comes Home' Review: This Grab

    Film Review: 'Annabelle Comes Home'

    In a country that should probably think about renaming itself the American Entertainment State, fan culture now produces an obsessive level of pop scholasticism, one that can parse the rules and details of movies and TV shows as if they were fine points of law. In a review of a horror movie, I once called [...]

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw A Wrinkle in Time

    Racing Green Pictures to Launch With Gugu Mbatha-Raw Historical Drama 'Seacole' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Producer Billy Peterson has formed a new production company, Racing Green Pictures, and announced production on “Seacole,” his first feature with the banner. The film will star Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle”) and Sam Worthington (“Avatar”). It centers on a Mary Seacole, a pioneering Jamaican nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War and [...]

  • The Other Story

    Film Review: 'The Other Story'

    Family disputes and conspiracies take center stage in “The Other Story,” veteran helmer Avi Nesher’s lively drama exploring a hot button issue: the divide between Israel’s secular Jews and the ultra-Orthodox. The fluid narrative plays out against the backdrop of a Jerusalem riven by multiple conflicts as two dysfunctional families separately arrive at an understanding [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content