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Statistics :
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Missing in Action: Hong Kong Films in European Film Festivals 2009-10
A tour of European festivals 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : Gina Marchetti
Yiping Lin
Date : 24/8/2010
Type(s) : Report
 Intext Links  
People :
Soi Cheang Pou Soi
Simon Chung Tak Sing
Ivy Ho Sai Hong
Hu Ge
Kit Hung Wing Kit
Jia Zhangke
Dante Lam Chiu Yin
Li Yang
Edmond Pang Ho Cheung
Emily Tang Xiao Bai
Johnnie To Kei Fung
Yon Fan
Zhang Yimou
Movies :
The Beast Stalker
Blind Shaft
End Of Love
Perfect Life
Soundless Wind Chime
< Previous
Page 3 : Genre films in festivals
Next >
Page 5 : Pusan favors HK films

Venice Film Festival


Logo: Venice Biennale

The two Hong Kong films that competed for the Golden Lion at Venice in 2009 also convey similar patterns: one is Soi Cheang Pou Soi’s crime thriller Accidentproduced by Johnnie To, another is Yon Fan’s co-produced Taiwanese "white terror" melodramatic epic Prince of Tears. By participating in various forms and scales of co-production, film scholar Cindy Wong (1) comments that Hong Kong cinema is "fulfilling a traditional role of Hong Kong in that it bridges different Chinese worlds, bringing Chinese language cinema(s) from all over the world to the film festival circuit." Indeed, a prime example is Jia Zhangke’s Xiao Wu (1998), and, in addition, Li Yang’s Blind Shaft (2003) and Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002), which both won prizes at Berlinale in 2003 and were co-produced by Hong Kong.


Photo: Berlin Film Festival

Independent films such as Ivy Ho’s Memento -like temporal experiment Claustrophobia (2008) and Simon Chung’s End of Love (2009), about a male sex worker, managed to get selected by Berlinale in the Panorama section, which showcases new independent and art-house films that have "controversial subjects or unconventional aesthetic styles," (2) while Dante Lam’s The Beast Stalker (2008) was shown at Forum . It was not long ago when Edmond Pang Ho Cheung’s Isabella received a Silver Bear for Best Music in 2006. While the performance of Hong Kong cinema at Berlinale looks positive, it is worth noting that Berlinale remains relatively generous by showing films from everywhere, especially after the end of the Cold War when it gradually transformed from a political-ideological window showcasing Western films to promote Western ideologies to a more global venue where films from Eastern Europe and from further East are shown.

Rotterdam Film Festival

photo: International Film Festival Rotterdam

In their 2009 lineup, Rotterdam Film Festival selected Emily Tang’s Perfect Life in their Bright Future section, which was the only Hong Kong film chosen that year. A previous entry from Hong Kong is Soundless Wind Chime’s director Kit Hung’s short I Am Not What You Want (2002). Rotterdam concentrates on "worldwide independent, innovative and experimental cinema." (3) While only a few Hong Kong titles had been chosen in recent years, mainland independent works are favored and almost invariably one mainland film would be selected each year. Robin Weng’s Flower in the Pocket even won the festival’s top honor Tiger Award in 2008.

(1) Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong is finishing a manuscript on international film festivals to be published by Rutgers University Press in 2010. Email correspondence on Aug 24, 2009.

(2) http://www.berlinale.de/en/das_festival/festival-sektionen/panorama/index.html

(3) http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/about/profile_iffr/

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