×

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.”

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content