17 May 2009
Hong Kong Celebrates a Century of Filmmaking
Beachside Cocktail Reception at Cannes Film Festival
17 May 2009 – A cocktail reception celebrating a century of Hong Kong film and filmmakers was held last night at Carlton Beach, Cannes, France. The reception, "China Night: Celebration of 100 Years of Hong Kong Cinema," took place during the annual Festival de Cannes and was attended by industry players from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and around the world.
At the reception, Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau noted a few of the many achievements of Hong Kong filmmakers. "The very first Hong Kong film, produced in 1909, was entitled Stealing the Roast Duck. Although the Hong Kong film industry started in 1909, its full-scale development came in the 1950s, when the industry became an important economic driver for Hong Kong," said Mrs Lau.
"Many Hong Kong actors, directors, cinematographers and producers have become household names," Mrs Lau added. "They have won acclaim for their unique style, incisive direction and creative storylines. In the past 10 years alone, Hong Kong movies and film talent have won more than 300 international awards."
In recent years, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland have developed a close film partnership, taking advantage of cooperation measures in the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). "Mainland-Hong Kong co-productions have enjoyed tremendous box-office success. Over the past three years, nine of the top-10 Chinese-language films in mainland China were co-productions involving Hong Kong filmmakers each year," said Mrs Lau.
"Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland are close partners in film production," added Jack So, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC). "And this cocktail reception serves to highlight the combined strength of our two film industries."
The "China Night: Celebration of 100 Years of Hong Kong Cinema" cocktail reception was organised by the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Chamber of Films and China Film Promotion International. The event was supported by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Hong Kong Film Development Council, with the China Movie Channel as a co-sponsor.
Along with Mrs Lau and Mr So, the centennial celebration was officiated by the Deputy Director General of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Yuan Tong Nan, Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Films Peter Lam; Chinese Embassy in France representative
Xiao Ling, President of China Film Promotion International Zhou Tie Dong, and Deputy Director of the China Movie Channel Guo Hua.
Also joining the toasting ceremony were key industry players and celebrities, including Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador Tony Leung; Jury President of the Asian Film Awards Michelle Yeoh; director Jingle Ma; actress Vicki Zhao Wei; actors Anthony Wong, Simon Yam and Aloys Chen Kun; and Hong Kong director Johnnie To. Mr To's latest film, Vengeance, was selected in competition for this year's Cannes' Palme d'Or.
Five Hong Kong companies – Universe Films Distribution Co Ltd, Mandarin Films Distribution Co Ltd, Star Ltd, Edko Films Ltd and T-Films Ltd – are exhibiting at the festival's Hong Kong Pavilion, organised by the HKTDC.
Ten other Hong Kong film companies are also participating at Cannes: Celestial Pictures, Cinema Popular Ltd, Deltamac (Hong Kong) Co Ltd, Distribution Workshop, Emperor Motion Pictures, Golden Network Asia Ltd, Keep In Touch Company Ltd, Lark Films Distribution Ltd, Media Asia Films Group, and My Way Film Company Ltd. Market screenings have been scheduled to promote a number of Hong Kong films at Cannes, including Ip Man, Shinjuku Incident, The Beast Stalker, Soundless Wind Chime and The Storm Warriors.
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Victor George Paddy
Tel: (852) 2584 4517
About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, www.hktdc.com