18 May 2007
Hong Kong Leads Cannes 60th Anniversary Ceremony
More than 1,000 International VIPs and Media Attend Beach Event
|From left to right: HKTDC Executive Director Mr Fred Lam, actress Maggie Cheung, President of the Cannes Film Festival Mr Gilles Jacob, Financial Secretary Mr Henry Tang and director Wong Kar Wai unveil photographs from the STARWAY, Allée de Stars photo exhibition.|
|Mr Gilles Jacob, President of the Cannes Film Festival, said Maggie Cheung and Wong Kar Wai "have both contributed magnificently to the international reputation of Hong Kong. Their talent has made the world discover this small territory, which makes such great films," he said.|
|Hong Kong filmmakers and film lovers pay tribute to Hong Kong movies. Pictured are the guests of honour Mr Fred Lam, Ms Maggie Cheung, Mr Henry Tang and Mr Wong Kar Wai.|
|Mr Johnnie To, Mr Tsui Hark and Mr Ringo Lam, co-directors of Triangle, and the Hong Kong movie's stars Mr Louis Koo and Mr Simon Yam, take the stage to introduce the movie.|
Ms Shu Qi
Ms Maggie Cheung
Mr Simon Yam
Ms Qi Qi and Mr Simon Yam
Mr Henry Tang
May 18, 2007 (Cannes, France) - More than 1,000 filmmakers, distributors and media from around the world attended the inauguration ceremony for the 60th Festival de Cannes Anniversary Exhibition, STARWAY, Allée de Stars. The ceremony, held at Carlton Beach in Cannes, France, was followed by a cocktail reception for Hong Kong film. Both events were organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
The photo exhibition STARWAY, Allée de Stars, celebrates 60 memorable years in the life of the Cannes Film Festival, including images of Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai and award-winning actress Maggie Cheung. Ms Cheung is also one of the panel judges at Cannes this year. Mr Wong was named Best Director at Cannes in 1997 with Happy Together, and Cheung won the Best Actress award in 2004 with Clean.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Henry Tang, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, quoted Italian-born American film director Frank Capra: "Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two being mathematics and music." Film, added Mr Tang, bridges the gap among cultures. He said Hong Kong films have been gaining increasing recognition from the international film industry, with several Hong Kong films being remade by Western directors. The most notable recent example, he said, was the 2007 Oscar-award winning film The Departed. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it was a remake of Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs.
Mr Tang said the Hong Kong Government was working to boost Hong Kong's status as Asia's entertainment business hub, actively supporting the Hong Kong film industry through a variety of initiatives. In April, the government established the high-level Film Development Council. The new body will advise the government on policies and strategies for the promotion and development of the film industry.
Other government support measures, said Mr Tang, include the injection of HK$300 million (about US$38 million or 28 million Euros) into its Film Development Fund to help finance the production of small-to-medium budget films; the opening up of the vast mainland market for film; and an emphasis on protecting intellectual property rights.
Mr Tang invited international filmmakers to participate in Entertainment Expo next year in Hong Kong, noting that the 3rd Entertainment Expo, earlier this year, was well attended by overseas exhibitors and buyers. "We are encouraged to learn from a recent survey that Hong Kong is considered the best place to reach out to the Chinese mainland and other Asian cities in exploring co-production opportunities and meeting buyers."
Also officiating at the inauguration ceremony were Mr Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Mr Fred Lam, Executive Director of the HKTDC. Mr Lam said that the number of exhibitors and buyers attending the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) in March increased 11.3 per cent to 453 and 18.9 per cent to 4,094 respectively.
"This year's FILMART had five times more exhibitors and eight times more buyers than the first edition of FILMART in 1997," said Mr Lam. "This illustrates the increasing importance of the Hong Kong entertainment trading platform. We will learn from Cannes, expanding the scale of FILMART and building it into the Cannes of the East."
Mr Lam added that the HKTDC will support the industry with tailor-made matching services. "We will help business find the right partners for film financing, production and distribution."
Also attending the ceremony and cocktail that followed were Mr Jack So, Chairman of the new Hong Kong Film Development Council, along with council members Mr Peter Lam Kin-Ngok, Ms Nansun Shi, Mr Wilfred Wong, Mr Bill Kong, Mr John Sham and Mr Crucindo Hung. Other Hong Kong representatives included Ms Lorna Wong, Commissioner for the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority; Mr Albert Lee, CEO of Emperor Motion Picture (HK) Ltd; Mr Li Kuo Hsing, President of the Mei Ah Entertainment Group; Mr Siuming Tsui, President of Sundream Motion Pictures Ltd; and Mr Daneil Lam, Managing Director of Universe Films Distribution Co Ltd.
Mr Johnnie To, Mr Tsui Hark and Mr Ringo Lam, co-directors of Triangle, and the Hong Kong movie's stars Mr Louis Koo, Mr Simon Yam and Mr Sun Hong Lei, also attended. Triangle, an official film selection at this year's festival, will be shown at the Midnight Screenings.
For more information, please visit: www.hkfilmart.com/cannes. The HKTDC will upload Cannes photographs through May 19. Details are as follows:
Tel: (852) 9198 4266/(33) 06 80 23 06 39
Tel: (852) 9034 4320/(33) 06 88 28 63 79