The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival is showcasing a new generation of Chinese filmmakers who caught international attention with their creative inspiration and invigorating craft.
The Chinese Now section will introduce for outstanding films from promising Chinese directors, including The Widowed Witch by Cai Chengjie, winner of the Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, The Taste of Rice Flower by Peng Fei Song, selected in the Venice Days section at the Venice Film Festival.
Sharing their passions for filmmaking are two talented directors who are both winners of the inaugural Early Bird New Directors Film Fund of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Jiang Jiachen in his directional debut Looking for Lucky and Wang Qiang’s Sunshine that Can Move Mountains, also winner at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Finally works from young Chinese directors were selected in the competition for the Firebird Awards. Three films selected in the Young Cinema Competition include Angels Wear White by Vivian Qu, winner of the Golden Horse Award for Best Director; Girls Always Happy by Yang Mingming; and Wangdrak’s Rain Boots by Lhapal Gyal. Selected in the Documentary Competition is Jin Xinzheng’s Mama.
The Widowed Witch by Cai Chengjie – 2017 | 118 min.
When Er Hou is widowed for the third time, the credulous locals in her village believe she is cursed. The young woman turns superstition to her advantage, rebranding herself as a shaman, peddling life advice and supernatural quick fixes in return for food and shelter. A blend of wry cynicism and magical realism, director Cai Chengjie’s debut feature examines superstition, opportunism and the moral vacuum in an impoverished part of China. Winner of Hivos Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam.
March 22nd, 2018 | Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre – 7:15 pm
March 30th, 2018 | Festival Grand Cinema – 7:00 pm
The Taste of Rice Flower (Mihua Zhi Wei) by Peng Fei – 2017 | 102 min.
A city woman returns to her Dai home village to find her left-behind daughter grown cold and rebellious. Their estranged relationship surges with compassion when the daughter’s best friend falls mysteriously ill and dies. Beautiful, luminous and lyrically resonant, Pengfei’s second feature contemplates the hybrid culture and values emerging from minority communities, where tradition and modernity collide. Like an enchanting dance performed inside a cave, it’s rigorously unsentimental yet bright with life at its heart.
April 1st, 2018 | Festival Grand Cinema – 9:30 pm
April 3rd, 2018 | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm
Angels Wear White by Vivian Qu – 2017 | 107 min.
In a quiet seaside village, tranquility is torn asunder by a terrible crime: two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middleaged man. The only witness, Mia, who was working the graveyard shift at the motel, chooses to keep silence. Caught in an ever-tightening net of danger, Mia and Wen, one of the victims, have to find their own way out. Winning the Golden Horse Award for Best Director with her sophomore effort, Vivian Qu crafts a brave and hardhitting drama, at once luminous and dark, that tackles social injustice and violence against women.
March 20th, 2018 | Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – 7:45 pm
March 31st, 2018 | The Grand Cinema – 12:00 pm
Girls Always Happy by Yang Mingming – 2018 | 116 min.
In 2012, Beijinger Yang Mingming bursted out of film school with her short but inventive mockumentary of sorts, Female Directors (2012), in which she and a film school classmate seemed to become recorders of life and love for a new social media generation. She continues to explore female dreams and dynamics in this feature comedy, shifting to a mother and daughter dyad whose quest for fame and wealth through arts takes second place to the verbal interactions that create the film.
March 30th, 2018 | The Grand Cinema – 4:45 pm
April 4th, 2018 | The Grand Cinema – 2:15 pm
Looking for Lucky by Jiang Jiachen – 2017 | 102 min.
A rousing dog-and-man comedy set in Shenyang in northeastern China, where people argue continuously. An MA student loses his professor’s dog and must enlist his father’s help to retrieve it, lest his prospective tutorship vanish. Full of humorous and lively conversations, the film captures the rhythms of real life, in which absurdity is part of living. Emerging director Jiang Jiachen delivers a biting satire on every conceivable illness in modern society, along with an endearing father-and-son relationship.
April 2nd, 2018 | Festival Grand Cinema – 9:30 pm
April 4th, 2018 | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm
Mama by Jin Xinzheng – 2017 | 89 min.
Mothers take care of their children. When mothers grow older, the children take care of them. But although Luo Zhangjie is approaching 90, her son, deeply damaged by meningitis, continues to require her care. To top it all, who will take care of him when she is gone? A moving documentary with the visual beauty of Vermeer and the stark simplicity of a fable, it grapples with the cycles of life and the problems facing a changing China. Nominated for Best Documentary, Golden Horse Awards.
March 30th, 2018 | The Sky – 4:30 pm
April 4th, 2018 | The Sky – 7:15 pm
Sunshine that Can Move Mountains by Wang Qiang – 2017 | 109 min.
Tenzin Banjue, a young Tibetan monk, takes a long journey home to visit his brother who is in a vegetative state. Despite finding himself enamored of his brother’s fiancée, he refuses his mother’s demand to stay and marry her. Wang Qiang’s debut feature is a poignant portrait of Tibetans defending a vanishing culture with their sacred traditions. Combining spiritual musings and nature’s beauty, it’s an ode to pure love and the wisdom that brings light to life.
March 30th, 2018 | Festival Grand Cinema – 9:30 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm
Wangdrak’s Rain Boots (Wang zha de yuxue) by Lhapal Gyal – 2017 | 90 min.
Heavy rain is good for the crops, but bad for young Wangdrak, the only boy without rubber boots in the Tibetan mountain village. When his wish for a pair of boots is finally fulfilled, he then faces a new problem: the rain stops. He now has to fight against the lama from prohibiting the rain pour. Nestled in the inimitable mountain landscape, Lhapal Gyal, the assistant director of Tharlo (40th), tells an empathetic tale of a child’s dream, with vivid imagery offering a candid glimpse of a culture steeped in ancient traditions.
March 30th, 2018 | The Grand Cinema – 2:30 pm
April 1st, 2018 | The Grand Cinema – 7:30 pm
We would like to remind readers that the 42nd HKIFF will take place from will take place from March 19th until April 5th in the beautiful city of Hong Kong.
About the HKIFF:
The HKIFF is one of the Asia’s oldest and most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new work and experience outstanding films. Committed to discovering new talent, the festival premieres the breadth of Chinese cinema and showcases Asian talent. As a life-style event, festival-goers watch world-class films, experience talks with leading filmmakers, visit film exhibitions and attend parties celebrating the Festival community, and much more.
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