Hong Kong and Thailand Film Industry Gather at the Kick Off Ceremony

Next Generation: Emerging Directors Exhibition & Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation in Thailand was held in Bangkok, showcasing a total of seven Hong Kong films. During the event, there was also an exhibition of recreated film scenes, inviting Thai audiences to appreciate the talents of Hong Kong new directors.

Supported and presented by Create Hong Kong and the Film Development Fund, co-organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), and co-presented by House Cinema Thailand, with full support from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok, Next Generation: Emerging Directors Exhibition & Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation in Thailand was successfully held at the renowned House Cinema in Bangkok from October 22 to November 11, 2023. The event was one of the highlight programs of Hong Kong Week 2023@Bangkok. The event aimed to e introduce to the Thai audiences the new generation of Hong Kong cinema and to promote the continuous development of the Hong Kong film industry. The event showcased seven Hong Kong films, with the opening legal drama film “A Guilty Conscience”, a Hong Kong box-office record breaker.

The kick-off ceremony was a star-studded event, with local film fans gathered alongside the red carpet. Professionals from the Thai film and television industry, as well as government representatives from Hong Kong and Thailand, were invited to attend the kick-off ceremony hosted by Thai actor Napat Patcharachavalit. Distinguished guests in attendance included Mr. Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hong Kong; Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBM, GBS, JP, Chairman of the Asian Film Awards Academy; Mr. Tsang Chiu Hok, Head of CreateHK; Mr. Lam Chun Wah, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok; Director Jack Ng and actress Renci Yeung from the film “A Guilty Conscience”; and Director Anastasia Tsang of “A Light Never Goes Out”. Local Thai honorable guests included Ms. Yuthika Isarangkura, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Thailand; renowned actor Mario Maurer; actor Juné Plearnpichaya from the TV series “Bad Genius”; and actress Yada Narilya from the film “The Medium”.

Representatives from the governments of Hong Kong and Thailand welcomed everyone’s enthusiastic participation in the event. Mr. Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hong Kong, expressed that cinema is a flagship creative industry and a major component of Hong Kong’s pop culture. He encouraged the film industry to actively engage in international film festivals to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a prominent hub for Asian film production. He also emphasized the importance of in-depth exchanges between Asian and Hong Kong filmmakers, as they can lead to the creation of high-quality films and enhance the diversity of Hong Kong cinema.

Ms. Yuthika Isarangkura, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Thailand, shared that Hong Kong film has achieved remarkable success in Thailand, as Thai citizens have been admirers of Hong Kong movies and television series for over half a century. She highlighted the strong bond built through mutual appreciation and cultural collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand have fostered partnerships at both the governmental and public levels, as well as contributed to the development of the film industry and creative industry of each other.

During the kick-off ceremony, guests from Hong Kong and Thailand engaged in casual and relaxed conversations. Director Jack Ng mentioned that Hong Kong films may be stereotyped by the Thai audiences, particularly through action films and comedies from the past. However, in recent years, Hong Kong cinema has undergone a transformation and has increased its diversity. Director Ng hopes that the Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation can introduce Thai audiences to the charm of the new generation of Hong Kong films. Director Anastasia Tsang was excited about future film and television collaborations between Hong Kong and Thailand. Actress Renci Yeung expressed her desire to act alongside Thai actors and have more Thai production teams filming in Hong Kong, further enhancing the exchange between the two places.

Thai actors also expressed their crave to collaborate with film and television teams in Hong Kong. Mario Maurer revealed that Hong Kong cinema has played a significant role in his upbringing, and he aspired to take on roles in films like the “Young and Dangerous” series someday. Director Jack Ng jokingly suggested to invite young idols from Hong Kong to collaborate with Mario Maurer in works with flavours of the classics from the 90s. Director Anastasia Tsang expressed her admiration for Thai actresses Juné Plearnpichaya and Yada Narilya, proposing to explore new film ideas together to showcase the unique beauty of Asian actresses.

Other Thai filmmakers attending the opening ceremony include Pongnarin Ulis, co-founder of House Cinema; Chalida Uabumrungjit, Director of Thai Film Archive; Siwaporn Pongsuwan, producer of “Charm”; Paween Goff Purijitpanya, director of “Ghost Lab”; Thitipong Kerdtongtawee, director of “OMG! Oh My Girl”; Nonzee Nimibutr, director of “Once Upon a Star”; Suthita Chanachaisuwan, singer of the theme song for “Bad Genius”; Tanatorn Saenangkanikorn, actor in “TharnType”; and representatives from the idol group BNK48.

Our honorable guests pressed on the giant clapboard device, marking the official opening of the Next Generation: Emerging Directors Exhibition & Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation in Thailand. In addition to exhibitions and film screenings, Hong Kong filmmakers will also attend sharing activities to have close interactions with local audiences. They will also be interviewed by local media, allowing more Thai audiences to understand the latest developments in Hong Kong cinema.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation will continue its journey to Indonesia, Cambodia, and Dubai. Log on to AFAA official website for more updates.

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