×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hong Kong Festival, China’s Heaven Pictures Launch ‘Back to Basics’ Film Project Support

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and China’s Heaven Pictures announced that they will award six Asian filmmakers RMB1 million ($145,000) in a joint project to demonstrate how high-quality films can still be made inexpensively.

The six films that emerge from the new initiative, titled “Back to Basics (B2B): A Love Supreme,” will be co-produced by the two entities and released over the next three years. HKIFFS will handle international sales and festival strategies, while Heaven Pictures will handle mainland distribution.

Participating directors include Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-Liang (“Vive L’Amour,” “Stray Dogs”), Japan’s Ishii Yuya (“The Great Passage,” “The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue”), Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu (“Doorman River,” “Fukuoka”), Chinese independent filmmaker Yang Jin (“The Black and White Milk Cow,” “Don’t Expect Praises,”), Malaysian New Wave director Tan Chui Mui (“Love Conquers All,” “Year Without a Summer”), and Hong Kong director Philip Yung, whose “Port of Call” won seven Hong Kong Film Awards in 2015.

“We aim to strip away the artifice of much contemporary movie-making, returning cinema to something raw and exciting,” said Jacob Wong, director of HKIFFS’ Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and Film Industry Services Office.

“We hope to tap into the amazing potential of film made under a limited budget, and to explore creative inspiration and embrace the core values of filmmaking,” Heaven Pictures GM Yang Jin said.

His company also announced another initiative, “The X Directors Project,” which seeks to support young directors. The three Chinese directors participating are Peng Tao (“The Cremator”); Xu Lei, whose first film “Have Your Name Carved” won third prize for best debut feature at last year’s Montreal Intl. Film Festival; and Qiu Jiongjiong, whose 2015 work “Chi (Mr. Zhang Believes)” played at the Locarno Film Festival and was shown at MoMA in New York.

A number of directors took to the stage at a Shanghai International Film Festival press conference to thank Heaven Pictures for its support over the years. “If you’re a novelist, people are used to giving you time to grow as a writer,” director Peng said. “But nowadays, the film world doesn’t give you the space to slowly mature over time. You’re mostly expected to step out and immediately be a very mature artist from the get go. Heaven Pictures was never like that — they had the patience to let you grow step by step.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content