The Hong Kong Film Archive established its Planning Office in 1993, and settled into its permanent site in Sai Wan Ho in 2001. This year, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. Looking back on Hong Kong's film history, even in the 1950s we were producing over 300 films per year—an admirable feat. The varied materials which make up this long, rich history are scattered all over the world. That is the greatest challenge of the Archive's acquisition efforts. In order to fill up the blank spaces in the history of Hong Kong film, our acquisition work is a race against time. We must put together this giant jigsaw puzzle, with pieces scattered all over the globe, and, piece by piece, restore Hong Kong's film history and culture to its original glory.
To increase the public's knowledge of Hong Kong cinema, over the years the Archive has organised numerous screening programmes: some based on genre, some with a focus on a filmmaker and some by film company, to bring the art of film into the neighbourhood. But seldom has one group of the Archive supporters been mentioned, the donors. Through our 20th anniversary celebration, we will organise our anniversary screening series around the theme of ‘Acquisition and Sharing'. In 20 days from April to December, ‘Treasure-Hunt Stories' will screen 36 classic films from our collection. We hope to revisit these classics of the silver screen, enriched with their background stories, with our audience. Before each screening, the Archive staff will share their stories about how that title was acquired. After certain screenings, we will invite the donors of the film, or industry professionals, to share their stories of the ‘first life' of the film involved, so that the audience may understand the full life-span of the film and of other materials in the Archive's collection.
The distribution network of Hong Kong films literally spans the globe. We believe that many of the films we have assumed to be lost are still somewhere, scattered in their own corners of the world. Film donor Mr Gordon Fung once made the simile that un-donated old films are like ‘gold becoming scrap metal', while donated films are like ‘scrap metal becoming diamonds'. In this series ‘Treasure-Hunt Stories' we share the ‘diamonds' we have gathered in the 20 years between 1992 and 2012 with the donors, film lovers and scholars who have been supporting us for so long.
Every frame of film and every artefact item in the Archive's collection was not easy to come by. The Archive takes this opportunity to thank our donors for all these years of selfless support and contributions. We have been so blessed to have your trust and entrustment, enabling the Archive to receive endorsement from the public for its work in the preservation and promotion of Hong Kong film history and culture, as well as earning international accolades for safeguarding and preserving film culture.
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.