Date: 22 October 2023– 11 November 2023
Location: Bangkok, Thailand (House Cinema)
Guest: Jack Ng, Renci Yeung, Anastasia Tsang, Ho Cheuk Tin
Screening: A Guilty Conscience, A Light Never Goes Out, Hong Kong Family, Over My Dead Body, Mad Fate, Elegies, Nomad
Partners: House Cinema Thailand, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok (HKETO Bangkok)
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 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”.
During the kick-off ceremony, representatives from the governments of Hong Kong and Thailand first welcomed everyone’s enthusiastic participation in the event. Then guests from Hong Kong and Thailand engaged in casual and relaxed conversations. 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 screening programmes includes “A Light Never Goes Out” directed by Anastasia Tsang, “Hong Kong Family” directed by Tsang Hing Weng Eric, “Over My Dead Body” directed by Ho Cheuk Tin, “Mad Fate” directed by Cheang Pou-soi, “Elegies” directed by Ann Hui and “Nomad” directed by Patrick Tam.
The Emerging Directors Exhibition was successfully held at the renowned House Cinema from October 22 to November 11, 2023. The exhibition was open to the public every day and received enthusiastic response. Our designer demonstrated a fresh perspective of the Hong Kong film industry through a series of reconstructed and redesigned movie scenes and props, highlighting both the works of emerging filmmakers and the unique characteristics of Hong Kong. Detailed descriptions in English and Thai provided audiences with a thorough understanding of the content and creative concepts of each work.
In the exhibition, scenes and props inspired by ten wonderful Hong Kong films were presented, including “A Guilty Conscience” directed by Jack Ng. This set featured a unique chair made of banknotes, providing a special experience for the audience. Neon light installations were used to recreate vibrant and warm city nights from “A Light Never Goes Out” directed by Anastasia Tsang . The warmth of family in “Mama’s Affair” directed by Karen Pang were brought through a scene of a local “cha chaan teng” . The gathering and dining scenes of “Hong Kong Family” directed by Tsang Hing Weng Eric were recreated by a unique round dining table installation, reminding us of the times spent with family. an exquisite Chinese traditional wedding attire and a romantic proposal scene, immersing viewers in the world of love of “My Prince Edward” directed by Norris Wong. In addition, the signage of Chungking Mansions, where “Hand Rolled Cigarette” directed by Chan Kin Long mainly set in, represented a distinctive scene of Hong Kong. A black comedy experience of “Over My Dead Body” directed by Ho Cheuk Tin were provided through the design of a crime scene investigation. The lives of grassroots communities in Hong Kong depicted in “Sunshine Of My Life” directed by Judy Chu were represented through the artistic imagination of dense public housing buildings. These films as well as “Lost Love” directed by Ka Shing Fung were presented with detailed textual and visual introductions, allowing visitors to better understand their storylines and content. We have also invited Hong Kong illustrator Alex Chan to create portraits for the nine new directors, enabling local audiences to gain a better understanding of the new generation of talents in Hong Kong cinema.
These films are all funded by the Hong Kong Film Development Fund, through schemes including the Film Production Financing Scheme and the First Feature Film Initiative. The former provides partial funding to support small and medium-budget films, to promote the diversity of local productions. The latter aims to fund new directors and their film production teams to shoot their first feature film using a commercial model, thereby nurturing talents for the local film industry.
Director Jack Ng, actress Renci Yeung from “A Guilty Conscience”, Director Anastasia Tsang from “A Light Never Goes Out” and Director Ho Cheuk Tin from “Over My Dead Body” took part in the “Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation” post-screening sharing and fostered meaningful connections and a vibrant cultural exchange with the local audience and students.
The opening film “A Guilty Conscience” emerged as a box office hit in Hong Kong. This compelling legal drama features renowned Hong Kong star Dayo Wong as a barrister whose client suffers from an injustice caused by his own mistakes. When presented with a chance to reverse the verdict, he decides to file an appeal to make a comeback, fighting against the bigwig to do justice. Throughout the screening, the audience couldn’t help but burst into laughter, thoroughly enjoying the film’s engaging storyline. As the film reached its conclusion, Director Jack Ng and actress Renci Yeung made a grand entrance into the theater, receiving a well-deserved round of applause from everyone present Jack shared his creative process and filming experience with the audience. Addressing the film’s legal aspects, Jack highlighted the importance of accuracy. After completing the script, he enlisted the help of a legal consultant to ensure precise dialogue and meticulous detail. By focusing on creating a captivating and entertaining story and having the script reviewed for legal accuracy, Jack aimed to deliver an authentic portrayal of the legal world.
Renci Yeung played as a young female barrister in the film. She said she had only two weeks to become familiar with the role. Fortunately, there was a legal consultant, Katie, who provided valuable assistance. ” Katie gave me a lot of advice. She taught me techniques to project my voice more effectively since my natural voice is relatively soft. She also instructed me on body language commonly used by lawyers.”
The Hong Kong entry for the Best International Film Award at the Oscars 2024 “A Light Never Goes Out,” received a warm reception from the local audience with full house screening. The film revolves around the theme of neon lights. Director Anastasia Tsang believes that neon signboards are the best embodiment of Hong Kong’s local culture. She and her production team made every effort to capture the essence of the three primary colours of the neon lights: pink, yellow and green, so that the audience could experience the beauty of these luminous displays. However, she acknowledged the challenge of effectively presenting the vibrancy of these three colors simultaneously on screen.
Director of the closing film “Over My Dead Body” Ho Cheuk Tin expressed his affinity for producing films that tackle social issues. “Many new Hong Kong filmmakers who have graduated from film schools, possess a keen awareness of the current situation in Hong Kong. The events of the past decade in Hong Kong have also served as inspiration for these young filmmakers.” Both of Ho’s films are connected to social issues in Hong Kong. The first film “A Sparring Partner” was adapted from the 2013 Tai Kok Tsui double parricide and dismemberment case. The second film “Over My Dead Body ” is a black comedy about the housing challenges faced by Hong Kong residents.
In addition to the post-screening sharing, Ho also participated in a lecture at Sripatum University, a renowned and long-established in Thailand. Its School of Communication Arts is highly regarded, and its students have achieved numerous accolades in local and international competitions. The lecture focused on the “Next Generation of HK Films: Youngblood Filmmaker Q&A”, attracting over 300 film students. Alongside Hong Kong director Ho Cheuk Tin, the event was honoured to have Paween Purijitpanya, a famous Thai director known for his works such as “Ghost Lab” and “Body”.
During the lecture, the two directors discussed the evolution of the Hong Kong film industry over the years. Paween also mentioned the challenges faced by the Thai film industry. In contrast, Ho highlighted the significant support provided by the Hong Kong government to young filmmakers through funding opportunities, allowing them to actualize their dreams of filmmaking and directing. Both directors shared their personal struggles as new directors and the journey of creating their first film. At last, they offered advice to the students aspiring to become directors, with Ho emphasizing the importance of persistence and not giving up easily while pursuing their dream of directing.
The four Hong Kong film talents were interviewed by various media outlets, including Thai Public Broadcasting Service, online media outlets “The People” and “IAM Everything”, film critic platforms “Hot guy in the Movies” and “Movie Phenomenon” during their visit to the ” Next Generation: Emerging Directors Exhibition & Hong Kong Film Gala Presentation” in Bangkok.
In addition to attending post-screening sharing sessions and colleges lectures, the director of the closing film “Over My Dead Body” Ho Cheuk Tin also visited the post-production house of the Kantana Group, a scaled local film and television production company. Kantana Post Production is a major television and film production company in Thailand. It provides post-production services to local works and production of many other Asian countries, including Japan and Indonesia. Its scope spans from dubbing, color grading, animation production, sound editing and mixing, to film restoration and subtitling. There are more than 50 studios and conference rooms in the production house, making it the largest post-production house in Thailand. The local staff guided Director Ho to visit several editing, dubbing and recording studios to introduce the local production environment and discuss on the possibilities of collaboration in the future. They watched a Thai film ”4 Kings II”, which had just completed its post-production, in a small theater.
Screening schedule in Thailand:
A Guilty Conscience：22 October 2023 – 16:30, 23 October 2023 – 16:30#
A Light Never Goes Out：22 October 2023 – 19:40
Hong Kong Family：24 October 2023 – 19:20#
Mad Fate：23 October 2023 – 19:40#
Elegies：25 October 2023 – 19:20#
Nomad：26 October 2023 – 19:20
Over My Dead Body：27 October 2023 – 19:20#
All films are shown in original Cantonese language with Chinese and English subtitles.
# Thailand premiere
In 2013, three main Asian film festivals – Busan, Hong Kong and Tokyo – joined together to create the non-profit organization, the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA) to promote and develop Asian cinema and its talents. AFAA highlights, strengthens and develops Asian film industry and culture through the annual Asian Film Awards, and with financial support from Create Hong Kong and Film Development Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government, several year-round initiatives for building regional and international audiences such as the Masterclass Series, Journey to the Fest, Asian Cinerama, Young Film Professionals Overseas Training Program and Film Craft Workshops.
Create Hong Kong is a dedicated office set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 June 2009 to lead, champion and drive the development of the creative economy in Hong Kong. It co-ordinates Government policy and effort regarding creative industries, focuses Government resources for the promotion and speeding up of the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and works closely with the trade to boost the development of creative industries.
The Film Development Fund was first set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1999 to fund projects and activities which contribute towards the development of the Hong Kong film industry, including part-financing small-to-medium budget film productions; enhancing efforts to promote Hong Kong films in the Mainland and overseas; enhancing initiatives to train talents in various aspects of film production and distribution; and enhancing the interest and appreciation of Hong Kong films by the local audience.