Johnnie To Kei-Fung began his career in television in 1974 before directing his feature film debut The Enigmatic Case in 1979. Over the years, he has directed over 50 films and produced over 70 films in a variety of genres, many of which are regarded as milestones in the history of Chinese cinema.
In 1996, To established the production company Milkyway Image, with which he directed and produced a series of daring and innovative films such as The Longest Nite (1998), Expect The Unexpected (1998), Running Out of Time (1999),The Mission (1999), Election (2005), Vengeance (2009) and Drug War (2012) amongst others.
To has been named Best Director three times each at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, the Golden Bauhinia Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards. He has received numerous nominations and commendations from film festivals in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, including nominations for the Golden Lion in Venice, Palme d’Or in Cannes and the Golden Bear in Berlin.
To was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture of France, the Medal of Honor by the Hong Kong SAR Government, an Honorary Doctorate by the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa at Hong Kong Baptist University. To also received lifetime achievement awards at the Locarno and Udine film festivals. He served as a juror at major film festivals including Cannes and Venice.
In 2004, To was appointed to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and soon after chaired its Film and Media Arts Group. In 2005, he initiated the Fresh Wave Short Film Competition, which in 2010 evolved into an international short film festival, further fostering cultural exchange among international filmmakers. In 2014, To was appointed Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.