With China now the second largest film market in the world and its annual box office revenue on course to surpass 20 billion, the nation's thriving film industry is producing numerous outstanding works. Starting next month, "Chinese Film Panorama 2013" will showcase 10 recent Mainland films, including acclaimed works from directors Wang Jing, Liu Jie, Chen Kaige, Cha Chuen-yee, Sun Lijun, Zhang Yang and Huang He and with stars such as Gao Yuanyuan, Wang Xueqi, Yan Bingyan, Sun Honglei and Qin Hailu.
The selected films include award-winning works, span a diverse range of genres and offer a glimpse into the innovative spirit of recent Chinese cinema. They are the opening film "Feng Shui" (2012), which shows the bumpy life of a female protagonist fighting against her destiny; the teen movie "Young Style" (2013); director Chen Kaige's "Caught in the Web" (2012), on cyber-bullying; "Beijing Blues" (2012), focusing on swindlers and thieves; "Lethal Hostage" (2012), with a bold theme on drug trafficking; the city comedy "Kill the Boss" (2012); the touching "Full Circle" (2012), which portrays life in an elderly home; the extraordinary "Sunlight at Fingertips" (2012), on left-behind children in villages; "Camel Caravan" (2012), with beautiful desert scenery; and the 3D animation film "Fantastic Adventure" (2013).
"Chinese Film Panorama 2013" is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the South China Film Industry Workers Union, in association with Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd and Southern Film Co Ltd.
The screenings will be held from November 4 to December 15 at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive, the Lecture Halls of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Science Museum, and Cine-Art House.
Directed by Wang Jing, the opening film "Feng Shui" focuses on the deep misfortune a woman experiences after moving into a new house that is believed to have bad feng shui. Despite the sadness of having her husband commit suicide and her son turn against her, she vows to fight against her fate. The film successfully elevates common melodrama into tragedy and fuses a bittersweet tale of destiny with black humour. Lead actress Yan Bingyan won Best Actress in the First Tiantan Awards of the 3rd Beijing International Film Festival as well as Best Actress in the 13th Chinese Film Media Awards.
Director Liu Jie's light-hearted teen movie "Young Style" features a teenager who falls in love and fails in his high school examination. With a smooth and likeable style, the film depicts students who are perplexed by rebelliousness and impulses of love. Young actors including Dong Zijian give natural performances, while Qin Hailu plays the demanding teacher brilliantly. The film won Best Feature Film and Best Actor in the China Movie Channel Media Award at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.
Director Chen Kaige's trendy film "Caught in the Web", adapted from an online novel and starring Gao Yuanyuan and Mark Chao, deals with the issue of cyber-bullying. When an office lady discovers that she has contracted an incurable disease and, while feeling depressed, refuses to give her seat to an elderly person on a bus, the episode blows up into furious attacks from netizens. The film starts with a light-hearted style, but the mood gets progressively heavier. The film won Best Screenplay at the China Film Directors' Guild Awards 2012.
In "Beijing Blues" a plainclothes detective who is fighting rampant cheating successfully catches a number of swindlers and thieves, yet he is also being stalked. Filming in a documentary style, director Gao Qunshu recreates true stories with vivid scenes to reflect the different sides of human nature. The film has won many awards including Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing in the 49th Taipei Golden Horse Awards and the Grand Prix Award at the 20th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
Starring Sun Honglei, "Lethal Hostage" is directed by new director Cheng Er and has the bold theme of drug trafficking, which is rarely seen in Mainland films. The swift and fierce images, along with a rule-breaking structure with the drug trafficker falling in love with the girl he kidnapped, conjure up a unique style. The film won Best Feature Film and Best New Director in the 13th Chinese Film Media Awards and Most Popular Actress and Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role at the 4th China Image Film Festival.
For his urban romantic comedy "Kill the Boss", Hong Kong director Cha Chuen-yee chose not to focus on extravagant scenes but instead presented outstanding performances and a smart play on office politics. The story sees a female boss try to take advantage of two greedy young designers, who join hands to fight back. Their move forces the boss to take a dangerous step that changes the whole game. The film was awarded in the China Film Performance Art Academy's Golden Phoenix Awards.
The touching "Full Circle" features performances by veteran actors who are in their 70s and 80s. To relieve boredom in an elderly home, the optimistic Lao Zhou designs a group game for the elderly. The old folks have great fun with the game and the old tenants even escape to pursue their dreams. Director Zhang Yang brings out the theme that senior citizens can face life positively. The elderly persons in the film have shortcomings, but they are nonetheless lovely characters. The film won the Special Award of Performing Arts at the 20th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
Director Huang He's "Sunlight at Fingertips", which features left-behind children, was shot in a mountainous area in Chongqing. An ancient township, a 1,000-year-old jetty, ferryboats and the folk customs of the Tujia and Miao people all add colour to the picture. The performances of the child actors, who were selected from some 5,000 primary students, manage to reflect the problem of parentless homes in a village setting.
Portraying the chivalry of martial artists against a backdrop of magnificent scenery in the Xinjiang desert, "Camel Caravan" is a typical Chinese western and focuses on a camel caravan that travels from place to place as it carries goods. When pressure from government troops grows and the caravan members become divided, a fierce battle erupts between a rifle squad and the caravan. The film won Best New Actress in the China Movie Channel Media Award at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival.
Directed by Sun Lijun, the head of the Animation School of Beijing Film Academy, the 3D animation "Fantastic Adventure" tells the story of a young employee named Glutinous Rice and a lady photographer, who join forces with islanders to fight against scoundrels. The film aims to resonate with both adults and younger audiences, and is packed with exciting action and jokes.
"Feng Shui" is in the Wuhan dialect and Putonghua, and the other films are in Putonghua. All films have Chinese and English subtitles.
Tickets are now available at all URBTIX outlets (for films to be shown at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Film Archive, the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Science Museum), Cine-Art House and Cityline (for films to be shown at Cine-Art House). Tickets are priced at $55 with half-price concessionary tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999 (URBTIX), 2317 6666 (Cityline), or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk (URBTIX) or www.cityline.com (Cityline).
For enquiries, please call 2734 2900. For ticketing details, see the programme booklet, distributed at all URBTIX outlets and Cine-Art House, or browse the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2013cfp/2013cfp_index.html.
Ends/Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:10
A film still of "Feng Shui" (2012).
A film still of "Fantastic Adventure" (2013).
A film still of "Lethal Hostage" (2012).
A film still of "Young Style" (2013).
A film still of "Caught in the Web" (2012).
A film still of "Sunlight at Fingertips" (2012).
A film still of "Full Circle" (2012).
A film still of "Camel Caravan" (2012).