A new film project by Xinjiang-based Wong Lina and others produced by Stanley Kwan and Soi Cheang are among fifteen works-in-progress that have been added to the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).
HAF previously announced the selection of 28 projects that are at an earlier stage of development. The event is organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and runs March 14-16, 2022, alongside the Hong Kong FilMart entertainment rights market March 14-17.
Wong, who made a stunning directorial debut “A First Farewell,” appeared in Berlin and won the Firebird Award in the HKIFF’s first Chinese-language Young Cinema competition in 2019, returns with “Village . Senet.” The film is a poetic musical about a boy from a remote village in Xinjiang’s Taklamakan Desert.
The film is produced by Beijing-based Bad Rabbit Pictures, a company founded by cinematographer Cao Yu and actress-producer Yao Chen (“Send Me to the Clouds,” “The Eight Hundred”). The company also has Qiao Sixue’s debut feature, “The Cord of Life” in HAF. “Cord” explores the notion of hometown through a nomadic electronic musician who brings his Alzheimer-stricken mother back to the Mongolian grassland for her last days.
Two of the selected works-in-progress titles are familiar to the event’s regular attendees. “Borrowed Time” and “The Sunny Side of the Street” both won script consultation service awards at HAF Film Lab in 2019. They then participated in HAF’s in-development section the following year and are currently in post-production.
“They are the first projects to have progressed through the HAF eco-system, from Film Lab to In-development projects, and now onto WIP,” said Jacob Wong, HKIFF industry director. “We set out to provide coordinated support across various stages of independent filmmaking, covering every aspect from early-stage project development, financing to post-production and promotion. It is very satisfying to witness some of these projects coming through.”
“Borrowed Time,” which Kwan produces for first-time Chinese director Cai Jie, is about a daughter who sets out from Guangzhou to Hong Kong to look for her long-missing father, played by Tai Bo (“Suk Suk”). “In The Sunny Side of the Street,” Anthony Wong (“Still Human”) plays a taxi driver who forms an unusual father-son relationship with a Hong Kong-born Pakistani child refugee. Veteran producer and distributor Winnie Tsang produces, with for Hong Kong-based Malaysian filmmaker Lau Kok-rui making his directorial debut.
HAF 2022 Work-in-progress projects
“A Room of His Own”
Dir. Matan Yair. Prod. Maya Fischer. Prod. co. Green Productions (Israel, Italy)
“A Song Sung Blue”
Dir. Geng Zihan. Prods. Liang Jing, Jane Zheng. Prod. co. The Seventh Art Pictures. (China)
Dir. Cai Jie. Prods. Stanley Kwan, Mo Jinjin. Prod. co. Bocut Film Production (China)
“Drop Your Cat”
Dir. Wu Weifeng. Prod. Qian Yini. Prod. co. Sparks Production (China)
“Frankenfish by the River”
Dir. Chen Yusha. Prods. Yuz Han, Annie Song. Prod. co. Yiti Film Productions (China)
Dir. Syed Maisam Ali Shah. Prods. Syed Maisam Ali Shah, Abhishek Kherotia. Prod. co. Varsha Productions (India).
Dir. Lee Yi-Fang. Prod. Lin Shih-Ken. Prod. co. G-Spot Entertainment. (Taiwan)
Dir. Yang Heng. Prod. Yan Ni. Prod. co. No Chopsticks Pictures. (Hong Kong)
“The Cord of Life”
Dir. Qiao Sixue. Prods. Cao Yu, Yao Chen, Liu Hui. Prod. co. Bad Rabbit Pictures (China)
Dir. Rajesh S. Jala. Prods. Rajesh S. Jala, Prayas Deepti. Prod. cos. The Elements, Inquilab Studio (India)
“The Sunny Side of the Street”
Dir. Lau Kok Rui. Prods. Vinod Sekhar, Winnie Tsang, Soi Cheang, Peter Yam. Prod. co. 70 Plus Production (Hong Kong)
“The Vessel’s Isle”
Dir. Wang Di. Prod. Xu Ruijing. Prod. co. Twelve Oaks Film Art (Shenzhen) (China)
Dir. Wang Xide. Prod. Li “Siniang” Yang, Zhao Jin. Prod. co. Beijing Gilgamey Culture Communication, Midnight Blur Films (China)
“Village . Senet”
Dir. Wong Lina. Prod. Liu Hui. Prod. cos. Haloxylon Ammondendron Pictures, Bad Rabbit Pictures (China)
“Water Can Go Anywhere”
Dir. Liam Fang. Prod. Huang Xufeng. Prod. co. Factory Gate Films (China)