×

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

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Second Huayi Brothers Film Is Canceled as Company's Losses Mount

    Still reeling from the cancellation of the theatrical release of its blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” production studio Huayi Brothers has been hit with another setback: Its comedy “The Last Wish” has also been quietly pulled from China’s summer lineup. Both films have fallen afoul of China’s increasingly heavy-handed censors. The unwelcome development comes as Huayi [...]

  • Sean AstinCritics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Film News Roundup: Sean Astin Cast in 'Mayfields Game,' 'Charming the Hearts of Men'

    In today’s film news roundup, Sean Astin gets two roles, two “Peanuts” movies are set for release, “One Last Night” gets distribution and Brian De Palma gets honored. CASTINGS Sean Astin has been cast in a pair of upcoming feature films: “Mayfield’s Game” opposite Mira Sorvino and “Charming The Hearts of Men” opposite Kelsey Grammer. Related [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content