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TODAY From Vegas To Macau
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China falls for Italian battle of the sexes Top Star
Lotte sells Top Star remake rights to China BY JEAN NOH
South Korea’s Lotte Entertainment has sold China remake rights to Jong Hoon Park’s Top Star to Beijing-based Aim Media. Top Star features a talent manager who becomes a superstar himself but is thrown into crisis as his passion turns to greed. Lotte said Aim Media producer Helen Lee, whose credits include the recent mainland China hit Beijing Love Story, plans to proceed with the Chinese version’s production this year with the makers of Beijing Love Story. “I think Top Star has the quality and storyline to potentially succeed as a remake in China,” said Justin Choi, Lotte Entertainment general manager and head of international. “A lot of Asian countries have recently expressed interest in Korean film remake rights, and as a seller, this seems to have more significance than simple film exports.
Busan films set for Berlin showcase A selection of titles from Busan International Film Festival is to be showcased in Berlin next month. The 3rd Korean Cinema Today festival (April 24-May 4) will open with Rotterdam Tiger Award winner Han Gong-ju and includes Yeon Sang-ho’s gritty animation The Fake, Kim Jae-han’s Thuy, Jung Yoonsuk’s Non-fiction Diary and a remastered version of Lee Man-hee’s classic Black Hair. Jean Noh
BY MELANIE GOODFELLOW
Italian comedies Men Vs Women and Women Vs Men are to be remade for the Chinese market in a joint project involving Cai Gongming’s Road Pictures and Italian producer Cristiano Bortone. Italian film-maker Fausto Brizzi’s original films, each consisting of four intertwining stories exploring the battle of the sexes, were released in Italy in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Bortone of Orisa Produzioni, which operates in Italy and Germany, negotiated the acquisition of
the Mandarin-language remake rights for both films from Federica Lucisano and Fulvio Lucisano of Italian International Film, who produced the film with the support of Rai Cinema. Bortone is collaborating with Road Pictures on the development of the remake. “The Chinese version takes two episodes from each of the original films to make one film. Some of the episodes in the original films wouldn’t work culturally in China,” said Bortone. “We could eventually use some of the remaining episodes for a
sequel,” he added. Cai Gongming, former vice-president of MercedesBenz China, is packaging the remake through his recently created Road Pictures. “We’re in discussions with some big companies in China to partner on production and distribution,” said Cai, adding that principal photography was scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2014. “We don’t have any confirmed cast members as yet but we’re confident the film will attract top stars, which is important for its success in China.”
NEWS Local dishes Chinese film-makers told to focus on local tastes » Page 4
Sin city From Vegas To Macau sequel in works » Page 4
REVIEW Aberdeen Pang Ho Cheung delivers a delightful slice of family life » Page 6
Final print daily This is Screen’s final print edition for Filmart 2014. For continued news and reviews, see ScreenDaily.com
Third Window delivers Baby BY JEAN NOH
The UK’s Third Window Films has launched sales at Filmart on Japanese film Be My Baby, set to make its international premiere at HKIFF on April 5. The film, about a group of young people in the weeks after a house party, is directed by Hitoshi One, who previously made the popular romantic comedy Love Strikes!. The film stars Kenta Niikura, Naoko Wakai and Chihiro Shibata. “It’s the first film on which I’ve handled sales while not involved as a producer or distributor,” said Adam Torel, Third Window CEO.
Screen, NYAFF team on award (From left) Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Zhou Xun attended a press conference to launch Distribution Workshop’s Overheard 3 at Filmart yesterday. Co-directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, the crime thriller is scheduled for release in May.
BAFTA outlines Asian aims BY LIZ SHACKLETON
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) plans to expand its networking and cultural exchange activities in Hong Kong as part of its outreach programme into the region, according to BAFTA vice-president and producer Duncan Kenworthy. “We’re here because we recognise the industry is global,” said Kenworthy. “This is an extension of the idea that cross-cultural col-
laboration is an integral part of a healthy industry.” BAFTA held the first of its Afternoon Tea networking events in Hong Kong on Monday, bringing together new talent including Celina Jade, Anthony Chen and Jamie Campbell Bower. The academy may also expand its BAFTA Crew online networking programme in Asia. “We hope to build our network and feed that back into our indus-
try,” Kenworthy said. “It will help our members and film-makers in the UK if networks can be created jointly here.” BAFTA also plans to hold regular masterclasses in Hong Kong — actor Eddie Redmayne visited in December and Kenworthy, best known as the producer of Notting Hill and Love Actually, is hosting a masterclass today. These initiatives will run alongside the Academy’s previously announced scholarships, backed for three years by the Yip Foundation, founded by financier Katherine Yip.
New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is to partner with this publication to launch the Screen International Rising Star Award. “By recognising up-and-coming talent with the Screen International Rising Star Award, we hope to remind audiences in America and beyond of the immense creativity to be experienced in Asian cinema,” said Goran Topalovic, NYAFF co-founder and executive director. “NYAFF is a strong platform for Asian film in America, and we look forward to honouring a hot new talent from their line-up,” said Wendy Mitchell, editor of Screen International. The 13th NYAFF is set to run June 27-July 14. Jean Noh
Jeonju names Competition jury By Jean Noh
The 15th Jeonju International F i l m Fe s t i v a l ( J I F F ) h a s announced its Korean Film Competition jury to be made up of renowned Italian critic Adriano Apra, Korean film-maker Yoon Jong-chan and Locarno festival programmer Mark Peranson. In addition to teaching and authoring books on film history, Apra has written for Filmcritica and Cinema & Film and was involved in programming for the Pesaro and Salsomaggiore film festivals as well as running the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome. Yoon made his feature debut with award-winning horror film Sorum, which he followed up with Blue Swallow and I Am Happy. His most recent film, My Paparotti, won the grand prize at Fukuoka Asian Film Festival and was in the 14th JIFF’s Korea Cinemascape section. In addition to programming for the Locarno and Vancouver festivals, Peranson is publisher of Cinema Scope magazine and has written for publications such as The Village Voice and Cahiers Du Cinéma. He also made a feature debut with Waiting For Sancho, which travelled to festivals and played at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as an installation.
Fine Time to ride with Dream Kid
Chinese film-makers told to focus on local tastes By Liz Shackleton
Fox International Productions (FIP) president Sanford Panitch and the jury of the HAF/Fox Chinese Film Development Award discussed how film-making across the Greater China region has become more local, at a roundtable discussion here at Filmart yesterday. Although mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan share language and culture, audiences in the three markets have different tastes. “Each of us should focus on making our own movies — it’s impossible for film-makers to merge the three markets,” said Wanda Media head of development Abe Kwong. “It’s a conundrum because often the very thing that makes a film successful locally is the thing that prevents it from being international,” said Panitch. Taiwanese film-maker Giddens
Giddens Ko and Abe Kwong
Ko (You Are The Apple Of My Eye) agreed that the priority should be to focus on making a good movie: “We first need to understand what we like ourselves, rather than guessing what other markets will like.” Ko, who recently turned producer on A Choo and Café Waiting Love, is gearing up to direct Kung
Ties That Bind settles on finalists By Jean Noh
The 6th Ties That Bind Asia: Europe Producers Workshop has announced 10 finalists for this year — five from Asia and five from Europe. The producers will work together on developing their projects over two events at Udine’s Far East Film Festival in Italy (April 29-May 3) and Busan International Film Festival (October 2-11).
Producer/country/title/director n Karim Aitouna (France) Women
n Justin Deimen (Singapore)
Of The Weeping River, Sheron Dayoc n Joenathann Alandy (Philippines) Hypothalamus, Dwein Baltazar n Valérie Bournonville (Belgium) Walkers, Olivier Meys n Weronika Czolnowska (Poland) Baby, Kei Ishikawa n Antonin Dedet (France) Black Stones, Roh Gyeong-tae
n Julius Ponten (Netherlands)
From Vegas To Macau
Mega-Vision plans Vegas sequel By Liz Shackleton
Hong Kong’s Mega-Vision Project Workshop is planning a sequel to its Chinese New Year hit From Vegas To Macau, reuniting stars Chow Yun Fat and Nicholas Tse and director Wong Jing. Andrew Lau will also return to produce From Vegas To Macau II. The first film, about a smalltime conman (Tse) who turns to a legendary gambler (Chow) to avenge his brother, grossed $85m in
n 4 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
mainland China. Mega-Vision is also in pre-production on Law Wong Jing’s King Of Drug Dealers, starring Nick Cheung, about gangsters and corrupt policemen in 1960s Hong Kong. The company also has two new titles in post: Daniel Chan’s La Télé De Vampire, starring Ronald Cheng and Yuen Biao, and sex comedy Flirting In The Air, starring Chapman To and Dada Chan.
By Jean Noh
Singapore-based media fund and distribution outfit Silver Media Group has partnered with Cambodia’s The Rock Production to launch global distribution on Cambodia-Singapore co-production Before The Fall. The deal was facilitated by the recently established Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA). Directed by Ian White, the English-language noir thriller is set during the 1975 fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge. A beautiful singer tries to escape from the capital but is caught in a web of political, financial and romantic intrigue. In pre-production, the film is set to start shooting in July. SAAVA described it as “the first commercial Khmer-led feature production created for international distribution”. Executive producer Oknha Kith Thieng of The Rock Production said: “This is a particularly exciting time for Cambodian films. I hope with Before The Fall, we’ll continue building towards a robust and sustainable future.”
Lanun, Chua Jingdu Fatu Adil, Jim Taihuttu n Alina Yan Qiu (China) Mazu,
Guardian Of The Seas, Xiao Zheng and David Ebner n Masumi Soga (Japan) Kodokushi, Janus Victoria n Lina Tan (Malaysia) Five Star Billionaire, Bernard Chauly
Italy casts light on tax credits
By Liz Shackleton
Japan’s Dream Kid and Taiwan’s Fine Time Entertainment have joined forces to co-produce road movie Riding The Breeze, directed by Japan’s Koji Hagiuda. Filmed on location across Taiwan, the film follows a young Japanese woman who takes a cycling tour following a break-up, and befriends a local teenage girl who lies about her age to join her on the trip. Mei Kurokawa, Teresa Daley and River Huang head the cast. The Taiwan-Japan co-production, which is receiving its market premiere at Filmart, will be released by Bitters End in Japan in July. Taiwanese distribution is currently under negotiation.
Fu, adapted from his own novel, for FIP. The film is one of three Chinese-language productions that Fox has scheduled to start shooting this year. One of the others is a Chinese remake of a Fox romantic comedy to be co-produced with Bona Film Group. Panitch and the three jurors also discussed how the fast-growing China market is changing. “It’s difficult to see through the China market and understand which movies will be a success,” said Hong Kong producer Mathew Tang, whose credits include romantic comedy Finding Mr Right and cop thriller Cold War. Both films were hits. “We expected Cold War to do well but we were lucky with Finding Mr Right.” The four HAF/Fox finalists pitched their projects to the jury yesterday and the winner will be announced tonight.
Silver, The Rock back Khmer Rouge drama
The Italian delegation of government agencies and film commissions at Filmart is holding a seminar today to explain the tax credits, film funds, benefits and support available when filming in Italy (see page 20). Representatives of the Italian Film Industry Association (ANICA) China Desk, opened last June to promote co-operation between China and Italy, will be on hand. “[We are here to] offer support and information to Chinese companies interested in shooting in Italy, enforce the imminent co-production agreement and find distribution channels for Italian movies in China,” said Edoardo Gagliardi, ANICA China representative. Jean Noh
The Gate closes shoot By Jean Noh
Regis Wargnier, the Oscar-winning director of Indochine, has wrapped shooting on The Gate, the first coproduction to be made following the Cambodia-France co-production agreement signed last year. Based on French ethnologist Francois Bizot’s memoir of his Khmer Rouge imprisonment, the film adaptation finished shooting in Cambodia last month and postproduction is underway in France. The Gate is produced by Les Films du Cap and Gaumont in France, and Rithy Panh’s Bophana Production. Panh directed Cannes award-winning film The Missing Picture. Cambodia Film Commission CEO Cedric Eloy and director Sovichea Cheap are at Filmart to promote co-productions and locations.
YOLKI 3! Action comedy, 97 min BAZELEVS DISTRIBUTION
TWO WOMEN Melodrama, 100 min PRODUCTION CENTER HOROSHO PRODUCTION/ REZO DISTRIBUTION
THE SOULLESS Action/Drama, 100 min RUSSIAN WORLD VISION
TRUE BLUE STORY Romance/ Comedy, 100 min INTERFEST
Reviews edited by Mark Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
In brief Lilting
Dir-scr: Hong Khaou. UK. 2013. 86mins. Indie Power A deft and delicate drama, writer-director Hong Khaou’s debut film is the gently moving story of how a mismatched pair try to overcome the loss of someone who both love deeply as they try and bridge a cultural and language barrier. Lilting is gently memorable and given heart and soul by the engaging lead performances by up-and-coming talent Ben Whishaw and Chinese acting legend Cheng Pei-Pei (who starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). A low-budget UK film, Lilting relies on low-key charm, some nice performances and a simple but nuanced story, and while lacking a sense of dramatic drive, it is a strong debut film and should attract arthouse distributor interest. Mark Adams
CONTACT PROTAGONIST PICTURES www.protagonistpictures.com
Abuse Of Weakness
Dir/scr: Catherine Breillat. Fr-Bel-Ger. 2013. 104mins. Isabelle Huppert: Playing Roles Catherine Breillat’s appetite for fearless selfexamination has led her to court controversy throughout a long career. What surprises most about Abuse Of Weakness (Abus De Faiblesse) is the straightforward approach she has taken to some of the most painful and baffling experiences of her life. Based on Breillat’s 2009 book, this is a considered, unsentimental attempt to understand the film-maker’s seemingly inexplicable entanglement with a convicted conman. A fully committed performance from Isabelle Huppert captures the physical fragility and emotional vulnerability of the Breillat character and is likely to be one of the major factors in recommending the film to arthouse audiences who have loyally supported Breillat’s work over the decades. Allan Hunter
Dir: Sherief Elkatsha. Egy. 2013. 77mins. Documentary Competition An enthralling, insightful and often rather funny look at the vibrant, complex and dramatic city of Cairo as seen on its teeming roads, director Sherief Elkatsha’s film, shot over three years from 2009-12, is a delightful portrait of a city as it goes through massive change yet is still united through the people who drive its streets. As a documentary concept Cairo Drive is a simple one. Elkatsha (also the cameraman) simply becomes one with the traffic, watching from the passenger seat, talking to drivers and observing the hectic and often angry streets from a slightly amused point of view. The film should be a nice pick up for broadcasters looking for an alternative view of the Arab Spring. Mark Adams
CONTACT KATSHA FILMS email@example.com
n 6 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
Reviewed by Mark Adams Hong Kong director Pang Ho Cheung delivers another delightfully observed slice of local family life in Aberdeen as he focuses on the loves, laughs and longings of three generations of an extended middle-class family. It may lack the warm-hearted laughs of his hits Love In A Puff and Love In The Buff, or the gross-out humour of his most recent film Vulgaria, but Aberdeen shows him to be a confident director able to craft an astutely assembled if structurally complex film. Set to open in Hong Kong and China in May (often his films have opened HKIFF and gone straight into distribution), Aberdeen has the class and intelligence to be another local hit for writer/ director Pang, and deserves to feature in further festivals. It should also sell to niche distributors. The film dwells on the Cheng family, with the title referring to a district on the southern side of Hong Kong island. First introduced are middleaged Wai-ching (Yeung), who works as a museum tour guide and her husband Yau Kin-cheung (Tsang), a doctor who happens to be having affair with a young nurse. Their extended family includes Wai-ching’s brother Wai-tao (Koo), his actress/model wife Ceci (Leung) and their young daughter Chloe (Lee), and Wai-ching and Wai-tao’s widower father Dong (Ng Man-tat) — once a fisherman and now a Taoist priest — who is in a relationship with nightclub hostess Ta (Carrie Ng).
The Huntresses Reviewed by Mark Adams A playful period blend of The Three Musketeers and Charlie’s Angels, South Korean action-comedy romp The Huntresses offers up some modest mainstream girl-power fun, though will disappoint action fans out for a dash of martial-arts mayhem. It is at its best a genial, frothy adventure but loses its way when it comes to the fully blown action scenes, despite the fact it is impressively designed and brimming with knowing over-the-top performances. The heroic threesome, played with zest by Ha Jiwon, Kang Ye-won and Son Ga-in (best known as a member of K-pop group Brown Eyed Girls), are a band of tough bounty hunters in Joseon-era Korea, each with a specific fighting skill (though favouring similar distinctive white outfits) and a gettheir-man-at-all-costs attitude. The first film produced by management company Wellmade STARM — which manages Ha and Kang — has the laughs and modest action to work with the local family market, and could appeal to home entertainment overseas, where its blend of rather innocent action and attractive leads make it an easy sell. The group’s leader is Jin-ok (Ha), still haunted after witnessing her father’s murder at a young age, and she is joined by more straight-laced Hongdan (Kang) and newcomer Ga-bi (Son). They are
World premiere — opening night HK-Chi. 2104. 98mins Director/screenplay Pang Ho Cheung Production companies Making Film Productions, CKF Pictures, Sun Entertainment, Huayi Brothers International sales Bravos Pictures Producers Chen Kuo Fo, Subi Liang, Pang Ho Cheung, Zhonlei Wang Executive producers Alvin Chow, Alex Tong, Zhongjun Wang Cinematography Jason Kwan Editor Wenders Li Production designer Lim Chung Man Music Peter Kam Main cast Miriam Yeung, Louis Koo, Gigi Leung, Eric Tsang, Chapman To, Shawn Yue, Dada Chan, Carrie Ng, Miriam Yeung, Lee Man-kwai, Ng Man-tat
The turmoils of ordinary life are explored to good effect as the characters struggle to find love and happiness and have to face up to forgiveness and reconciliation as they try to move on. Sadness and humour collide in familiar vignettes of family life, and though it can give the appearance of a soap opera at times, there is some real depth to Aberdeen. From Wai-tao’s plans to check the DNA of his daughter (he worries she isn’t beautiful enough for him to be the father) and his debate about Star Wars with an old school friend (To) through to Kincheung’s eventual realisation about what a mistake he would be making if he left his wife, the film tackles emotional issues with real skill and resists the temptation to slip into melodramatic territory. Quite simply the film dwells on the fact that there are always problems in life and lets its characters go along an often clumsy and fraught journey to find the answers they desperately need.
Market S Kor. 2014. 107mins Director Park Jae-hyun Production company Wellmade STARM International sales Showbox/Mediaplex Inc, www.showbox.co.kr Producer Kang Chul-kyu Screenplay Kim Ha-young, Kang Chul-kyu, Kim Ba-da Cinematography Yoon Gang-jun Editor Steve M Choe Music Hwang Sang-jun Main cast Ha Ji-won, Kang Ye-won, Son Ga-in, Joo Sang-wook, Ko Changseok, Song Sae-byeok
issued assignments by corpulent Moo-Myung (Ko), though their latest one turns out to be the most complex and deadly they have faced. Secret envoys were due to deliver a ‘stauroscope’ — the MacGuffin of the film — to the King of the Joseon dynasty but are killed by assassins. The bounty hunters are recruited to track down the item, but find themselves under attack by an army of assassins, with Jin-ok having to face up to the man responsible for the death of her father. The film — which has the literal title translation of ‘The Joseon Beautiful Three’ — can never quite find the right balance between action and oldfashioned sentimental drama, but its final action scenes are impressively staged and make great use of the stylish sets, with Ha Ji-won (who starred in Lee Myung-se’s 2005 film Duelist) the best of the fighting trio.
HAF profiles, page 8
Beautiful 2014 Reviewed by Mark Adams The now annual HKIFF world premiere of the latest of the Beautiful compilation films — backed jointly by Youkou and the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society — typically offers up a mixed bag of four short films, linked by no obvious theme apart from the fact love and compassion are at the core of most of them. All, though, are delightfully made and each distinctive in its own right, and while Beautiful 2014 could travel — and sell — as part of the Beautiful branding, each of the films could also exist as a standalone short and have (and deserve) profile at other international film festivals. The first film is Kang Je-kyu’s Awaiting, which stars South Korea’s Moon Chae-won (who starred in hit 2011 film War Of The Arrows) as Cho, a woman awaiting a reunion in Pyongyang with her husband Minwoo who travelled north of the border but failed to return home. Verging on the sentimental at times, its charming twist is nicely staged and gently moving, with the film making its point about families torn apart by the separation between North and South Korea with sad grace. The second film is Shu Kei’s The Dream, a lustrously shot period piece about a beautiful but bored housewife who fantasises about a tall dark stranger at the next table. Sadly the version seen had no subtitles, but its style and lingering sexuality were evident. There were no such issues, luckily, with Christo-
That Demon Within Reviewed by Fionnuala Halligan Dante Lam conjures up an inferno in That Demon Within (Mo Jing) a dark, twisted trip through one Hong Kong cop’s explosive meltdown. Possessed by the afterlife, Lam’s story plays out in funeral parlours and graveyards where the director’s action and special effects co-ordinators go about setting the city on fire. Although it opts for a tricksy narrative with fussy flashbacks and hallucinations delivered in the widest-possible variety of styles, That Demon Within is bleak at its core, a dark, hopeless tale of death, corruption and mental illness shadowed by spectres. Despite a slightly opaque and somewhat overblown narrative, That Demon Within is a professionally executed production, laden with impressive special-effects shots and bone-crunching violence. Some set pieces are particularly innovative, and Lam’s visual manifestations of mental illness are striking. Like Infernal Affairs, two male characters on opposing sides of the good/evil tightrope lead the charge: Wu as troubled policeman Dave Wong and Nick Cheung as his nemesis, Hon Kong, leader of the Gang From Hell. When Hon is injured in a chase, during which he murders two policemen, he winds up at the hos-
World premiere — Gala HK-Chi. 2014. 117mins Directors Zhang Yuan, Kang Je-kyu, Christopher Doyle, Shu Kei Production companies Youkou, Hong Kong International Film Festival Society International sales Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, firstname.lastname@example.org Main cast Li Quan, Lv Yulai, Moon Chae-won, Koo So, Lip Ching-man, Wong Pak-hei, Erica Yuen, Yau Hawk-sau
In brief Minuscule: The Valley Of The Lost Ants
pher Doyle’s documentary themed HK2014 — Education For All (pictured), which dwells on what the next generation may be striving for, blending fascinating comments from a series of young people with beautifully shot images of Hong Kong. The last film, ironically, has no need for subtitles. Zhang Yuan’s I Love You Boss is a stylishly shot film that focuses on the changing nature of the relationship between a driver and the well-to-do boss he transports around the city. What begins as a chilly, formal relationship veers into different territory when the boss’s wife leaves him and he drunkenly starts to sit in the front seat of the car. But the driver harbours feelings for the wealthy boss, imagines them together, and even tolerates a severe beating — there is a vague sado-masochistic undercurrent to the story — just so he can be near to the boss. Beautiful 2014 once again reinforces the extent of the film-making talent in the region, with these well cast and wonderfully shot films each distinctive and engrossing in their own way.
Asian premiere — Closing night HK-Chi. 2014. 112mins Director Dante Lam Production companies Emperor Film Production Company, Sil-Metropole Organisation Limited International sales Emperor Motion Pictures, enquiry.emp@ emperorgroup.com Producers Candy Leung, Albert Lee, Ren Yue Executive producers Albert Yeung, Song Dai Screenplay Jack Ng, Dante Lam Cinematography Kenny Tse Editor Patrick Tam Production designer Lee Kin-wai Music Leon Ko Main cast Daniel Wu, Nick Cheung, Christie Chen, Andy On, Liu Kai-chi, Lam Kar-wah, Lee Kwok-lun, Stephen Au, Chi Kuan-chun
Dirs/scr: Thomas Szabo, Hélene Giraud. Fr. 2013. 89mins. Market For those who thought The Artist — a silent black-and-white French feature with music — was audacious, along comes Minuscule: The Valley Of The Lost Ants (Minuscule: La Vallée Des Fourmis Perdues) a dialogue-free bug saga carried by brilliant sound effects, an epic score and delightful animation in the service of an incredibly basic yet endlessly inventive story. The melding of animated critters with real nature backdrops is seamless and, in a way, rather thrilling as a lone ladybug helps a group of black ants fend off an army of evil red ants that covet a tin box full of sugar cubes left behind by humans after a picnic. There should be no impediment to distribution far and wide for this 3D gem. Lisa Nesselson
Thou Wast Mild And Lovely
Dir: Josephine Decker. US. 2014. 79mins. Young Cinema Competition US independent newcomer Josephine Decker’s second feature Thou Wast Mild And Lovely is more conventional — and more alluring — than its predecessor Butter On The Latch. Sometime documentarist Decker and her collaborators, notably cinematographer Ashley Connor, have developed a distinctive signature, but it is in Mild And Lovely that the stylistics gel into an intriguing slant on psychological chiller tropes. This story of a very bad rural summer plays with elements of both art cinema and horror, but comes across most strongly as an unsettling character piece. Distribution prospects are moderate, but the film will benefit from placing one foot in the realm of Malick-esque artsy delicacy, the other in American Gothic genre territory. Jonathan Romney
CONTACT NEW EUROPE FILM SALES www.neweuropefilmsales.com
The Little House pital policed by Wong. Not realising who Hon is, the cop donates blood to save his life, an event that begins to tear apart Wong’s carefully constructed world and shatter his all-important beliefs in right and wrong. Much of That Demon Within takes place in the dark, including several key action sequences and meetings in Kowloon Funeral Parlour with the Gang From Hell, Hon’s group of robber-killers who use the mask of The Demon King as disguise. Such an extensive use of graveyards, funeral paraphernalia and effigies is unusual for a Hong Kong action film. Dante Lam never lets up and the effects within a single hypnosis montage with its floating scenarios and twisting perspectives, for example, are beyond the scope of many of his Western counterparts across an entire film.
Dir: Yoji Yamada. Jap. 2014. 136mins. Master Class A wafer-thin weepie shot almost entirely on a sound stage, Yoji Yamada’s 80th feature film The Little House (Chiisai Ouchi) will not go down in history as one of his finest achievements. An adaptation of a bestselling, awardwinning novel by Kyoko Nakamura, it offers a derivative illicit love affair between a traditional middle-class wife and her husband’s assistant that seems to be cut out for early afternoon TV melodrama. Yamada, 82, may have intended to resuscitate, with painstaking love and attention, a world gone by, but what comes up on the screen looks entirely fictitious, a banal collection of clichés piling up one on top of the other. Dan Fainaru
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 7 n
30 Days Of Ginger
Dir Lam Tze Chung
Dir Dev Benegal
Dir Teo Eng Tiong
Project’s country of origin Hong Kong
Project’s country of origin India
Project’s country of origin Singapore
Hong Kong actor-director Lam Tze Chung returns to HAF this year with Game, an adventure thriller set on a deserted island. Unlike his trademark comedies, the new project is a story of survival, following a jaded office worker who is lured to spend a week in the wilderness for a life-changing experience, not knowing that he will be chased by wolves and hunted as prey by a group of rich kids. “Wolves will play an important role in the film. I want to use them to reflect human behaviour,” says Lam, who will not act in the film in order to focus on directing. He intends to cast new actors. Filming will be off the beaten track with a jungle, probably in China, as the main location. Due to the difficulties filming with real wolves, wolf dogs will be used and VFX will be employed to make them look more lupine in post-production. The project will be submitted to Hong Kong Film Development Council for funding. On board as producers are Wing Or, who worked on Transformers: Age Of Extinction when it filmed in China, and Ken Hui, a producer on Flora Lau’s Cannes 2013 title Bends. The duo launched a production house, One Tree Films, last year, which has completed its first project I Can Sing by new director Wong Wai. Lam started as a screenwriter at TVB in 1995 before taking up acting. In 2006, he made his directorial debut with I’ll Call You as part of Andy Lau’s Focus First Cuts. His other films include comedies The Luckiest Man and Hyperspace Rescue. Lam took part in last year’s HAF with King Of Shrimp Roe Noodle. WY Wong
Set in present-day India, Dead, End is the story of Abhay, who is officially declared dead despite being alive. The only person who can reverse his death certificate is a bureaucrat in the Governor of Departments (GoD), which handles all matters of land, life and death. Abhay is GoD’s latest victim, done to ‘death’ by his own brothers so they can steal his land. He unites with the other victims of GoD and forms the Dead People’s Society, which tackles an increasingly absurd and comic maze of hurdles to prove he is alive. Currently in pre-production, the film will be shot in and around New Delhi in India. “It’s a side of India noone has seen before, and as a director, I like to tell a story with humour. It can be more expressive than a straight drama,” says Benegal, who is looking for producing partners and sales agents at HAF. Benegal’s debut feature English, August won India’s National Film Award for best English-language feature in 1994 and became the first Indian film to be acquired for distribution by 20th Century Fox. His second feature, Split Wide Open (1999), premiered at Venice Film Festival and was also distributed by Fox. His third feature, Road, Movie, screened at Berlin and Toronto and was picked up by Fortissimo Films for international sales. Benegal’s production company, August Entertainment, is jointly producing Dead, End with Mumbaibased The Satish Kaushik Entertainment (SKE). Founded by actor-producer Satish Kaushik, SKE recently produced Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi, which premiered at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. Kaushik has also boarded Dead, End as an actor. Nandita Dutta
With 30 Days Of Ginger, Singaporean director Teo Eng Tiong is working with his writer and producer Lim Jen Nee on a film inspired by another of their partnerships — childbearing. After raising two babies, the husband and wife team have twice gone through the Chinese post-partum tradition of ‘confinement’, in which the woman stays at home with no showers, undergoing rituals such as full bodybinding, and adheres to a strict diet including ginger and pig trotters in vinegar to regain her long-term health. The process inspired them to make a film about a modern Singaporean career woman who is forced to go through confinement with her traditional Chinese mother-in-law. “Compared to my first film, which was quite serious and dealt with poverty, this is about new parents taking care of their family in a fish-out-of-water situation,” says Teo, whose feature debut Truth Be Told won best original film at the fifth Asian Film Festival of Rome. “It’s not slapstick or in-your-face comedy. It’s a more lighthearted kind of film that people can relate to.” Although set in Singapore, most of the story will take place indoors. The film-makers are open to co-production and already have Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson attached as executive producers. Teo, who also has a background in computer animation and post-production, teaches at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences. Lim Jen Nee also wrote and produced Truth Be Told through Pilgrim Pictures, which is producing 30 Days Of Ginger. The project is a winner of the New Talent Feature Grant from Singapore’s Media Development Authority, which selects first or second feature films for support and is contributing 25% of the total budget. Jean Noh
30 Days Of Ginger
Budget Producers Wing Or, Ken Hui Production companies One Tree Films Budget $2m Finance raised to date $100,000 (Star City Pictures) Contact Wing Or email@example.com
Budget Producers Satish Kaushik, Dev Benegal Production companies August Entertainment, The Satish Kaushik Entertainment Budget $1.5m Finance raised to date $150,000 Contact Dev
Producer Lim Jen Nee Production company Pilgrim Pictures Budget $800,000 Finance raised to date $250,000 (equity, MDA) Contact Lim Jen Nee firstname.lastname@example.org
n 8 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
» Game p8 » Dead, End p8 » 30 Days Of Ginger p8 » The Embroiderer p9
» Forgive Me p9 » Dust p9 » So Be It p10 » Devil And Dust p10
» Private Eyes p10 » Our Father p10
Country of origin Philippines
Country of origin China
Country of origin China
Dir Brillante Mendoza
Dir Lina Yang
Dir Zhao Liang
Brillante Mendoza, who won best director prize at Cannes 2009 for Kinatay, has two projects in HAF this year: documentary Gay Messiah and fiction feature The Embroiderer. The latter is about an old woman whose embroidery work has reflected the story of her love for two men throughout the chequered history of the Philippines. “The Embroiderer is not only about a love story, but also the history of the craft,” says Mendoza. “It’s a period film that happens mostly in 1945 during the Japanese occupation, which also makes it different. It has an old couple, whose scenes will be set maybe in 2000, but the rest is in the 1940s.” He continues: “This is really very exciting for me. I had always been offered period films in the past, but because I’m a production designer, I’m very critical. If I don’t have enough budget, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do those kinds of period films that have to make do with cheap production design.” Mendoza explains that he started out by discussing the project with Filipina senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who is working on a bill to promote shooting by local and international film-makers in the Philippines. “I proposed this project to her, which actually originated in a region of the Philippines where embroidery is a dying industry. She wants to look for private funds outside the government, so we submitted the project to HAF to look for co-production,” he explains. The film is being produced by Mendoza’s own Center Stage Productions. Mendoza says the script is in its first draft and he hopes to have it finished by the end of the year. Jean Noh
“We’ve always known that China follows a one-child policy. In reality, however, a man can have many wives and many children, not unlike polygamy under the feudal system 2,000 years ago,” says Chinese director Lina Yang. Her latest project, Forgive Me, is about a successful film producer who, as a lingering soul after being killed in a car accident, looks back at his life and tries to make amends with his three ex-wives and children. “Although marriage and love are not fresh subject matters, this story hasn’t been told in any Chinese films and I’ll tell it with a new perspective,” says Yang. While she is currently developing the script by herself, Yang may hire a co-writer at a later stage. Filming locations will range from Tibet to the US. Sodium is a new production outfit founded by Yang in 2013 for her first feature, Longing For The Rain. The erotic drama, about a married woman finding sexual pleasure with a mysterious young man who appears in her dreams, received a special mention at last year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. Liao Ching Sung, who edited Longing For The Rain, will reunite with Yang on Forgive Me as her producer. The renowned Taiwanese editor has cut all Hou Hsiao Hsien’s films and subsequently become his producer. Yang was a dancer for 10 years before turning to filmmaking. She started off as a documentary director with her debut Old Men, which grabbed multiple awards, including the award of excellence at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 1999 and the Golden Dove award at DOK Leipzig in 2000. She was also one of the lead actors in Jia Zhangke’s Platform. WY Wong
After spending two years conducting nationwide research about the subject matter, Chinese director Zhao Liang started filming his latest documentary, Dust, last June. Set on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, the documentary follows four individuals brought together by a coalmine. They include a young girl whose family lives in a traditional yurt near the mine; a man working as a miner for four years without a protective face-mask; the old boss who has been running the mine for decades; and a former miner now suffering from black-lung disease. “The film will reflect the imminent, severe environmental issue created by the over-exploitation of the mining industry, which remains largely unregulated. The issue is not unrelated to the thick haze shrouding us every day,” says Zhao. The film-maker, who also works as a contemporary artist in photography, video installations and video arts, has earned a reputation as a social activist. Most notable is his documentary Petition, about China’s justice system, which was filmed over 12 years. After premiering in Cannes, it received a humanitarian award at Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2010. While Petition was banned in China, his last film Together (2010), on the subject of HIV and Aids, became his first documentary to be shown in his own country. Commissioned by China’s Ministry of Heath, it was produced as a ‘making of ’ for Chinese director Gu Changwei’s narrative feature Til Death Do Us Part. Zhao is working for the first time with Hong Kong’s Jet Tone Films on Dust. Producers on the project include Jet Tone’s Jacky Pang and Sylvie Blum from France’s Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), who previously produced Petition. WY Wong
Finance Producer Teeda Pascual Production company Center Stage Productions (CSP) Budget $1.5m Finance raised to date $100,000 (CSP) Contact Brillante Mendoza email@example.com
Producers Liao Ching Sung, Yang Lina Production company Sodium Budget $3.35m Finance raised to date: $850,000 Contact Yang Lina na.sodium.
Producers Jacky Pang, Sylvie Blum Production company Jet Tone Films Budget $380,000 Finance raised to date $200,000 Contact Charlotte
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 9 n
So Be It
Devil And Dust
Dir Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
Dir Li Xiaofeng
Dir Chang Jung Chi
Dir Jun Robles Lana
Project’s country of origin Thailand
Project’s country of origin China
Project’s country of origin Taiwan
Project’s country of origin Philippines
Currently in production, So Be It, from Thai director Kongdej Jaturanrasamee, mixes documentary and fictional elements. The film is inspired by a Thai reality show on TrueVisions TV in which sevenyear-old Thai-American boy William took part in a Buddhist summer ordination programme. Kongdej follows William as he continues his Buddhist journey as a monk, along with an 11-year-old hilltribe boy who has been sent to a temple with 2,000 other children. “The first time I heard about William, so many questions were raised in my mind,” says Kongdej. “In the age of a Buddhism crisis, so many people lose their faith in religion. Why would a little American boy such as him choose to become a monk? And what about those children who live in temples to survive? What do they think about the religion?” Kongdej’s mainstream features include the award-winning Sayew and Midnight My Love. He is also a well-known scriptwriter whose credits include Tom Yum Goong and Queens Of Pattani. His first and second independent films, P-047 and Tang Wong, premiered at the Venice 2011 and Berlin 2013 film festivals respectively. “This is my first time with a documentary. So everything is so new for me and makes me feel so fresh all the time. I’ve learned many things on this project, from ‘make it happen’ to ‘let it happen’, from shoot to snap,” he says. Soros Sukhum (Mundane History) and Kongdej are producing through their company Song Sound Production. Attaphon Na Bangxang, chief content officer at TrueVisions, is also attached as producer. Jean Noh
Chinese writer-turned-director Li Xiaofeng explores the themes of love and the loyalty of women in his new project, Devil And Dust. Set in the late 1990s in his home town, a rural village in Anhui Province, the story is partly about the forbidden love between a brother and his half-sister and partly about the enduring love of their elderly parents. “The characters stay true to their feelings in chaotic times. This film is about the revenge of timeless feelings on modern society,” says Li. Although the project’s Chinese title (Hypnotized By Water) is the same as a novel written by Li when he was 15 years old, the plot is different. He finished the new story last summer and his collaborator Wang Mu is now writing the screenplay. Once a leading film critic under the pseudonym Liar, Li joined Lu Chuan’s workshop as a creative consultant in 2002. He directed the ‘making of ’ film for Lu’s Mountain Patrol and was a screenwriter on Zhang Yuan’s Dada’s Dance, in which he also starred. Li is set to make his directorial debut with Scrape My Bones, which won the most creative project award at Shanghai International Film Festival’s China Film Pitch and Catch project market last year. The rite-of-passage drama is due to start shooting in April. Devil And Dust will be produced by Shen Yang (Black Coal, Thin Ice) and Jia Lisha, who is also a producer on Scrape My Bones and co-wrote Dada’s Dance. Loyalty & Royalty Cultural Transmission is a new production company set up by Li with Devil And Dust as its first project. WY Wong
Set to be the first detective-mystery film from Taiwan in recent years, Chang Jung Chi’s Private Eyes follows an academicturned-detective investigating what looks like Taiwan’s first serial-killer case. The dark yet comical story is based on the bestselling and multiple award-winning novel of the same name written by Chi Wei Jan. Taipei-based production company Double Edge Entertainment (DEE), which is financing the project, acquired the movie rights in early 2012. Chi is a successful playwright as well as a screenwriter for such films as A Way We Go and animation Fire Ball. Private Eyes is his first novel and he is adapting it into a screenplay himself. “I’ve spent much time studying the logic behind the crimes and visited all the local locations portrayed in the book, hoping to create a brand new and unique private investigator character for Taiwan,” says Chang, whose debut feature Touch Of The Light earned him the best new director prize at the 2012 Golden Horse Awards. Chang’s credits also include My Football Summer, which won the best documentary prize at the 2006 Golden Horse Awards. He also recently directed a genre film, high-school thriller Partners In Crime, for DEE, which is due to open in Taiwan this September. He also co-directed DEE’s 3D concert film Mayday 3DNA. DEE producer Wolf Chen is developing the new project with Warner Bros Taiwan, which invested in 2013 hit Zone Pro Site, and Hong Kong and Taipei-based Jet Tone Films. Production is expected to start this summer on location in Taipei. WY Wong
Director Jun Robles Lana returns to HAF to complete his “small-town Philippines” trilogy with Our Father. “It’s edgier in tone than my previous two films and probably my most personal yet,” he says. The film follows a young teenager, Jonathan, who discovers his mother after she has committed suicide, and finds out his mystery father is a priest. He goes to live with the priest under the guise of joining the seminary. “I come from a family of priests, and priests fathering children is a topic that is often discussed in hushed tones in family gatherings,” says Lana. “Having an absentee father myself, I know first-hand what it’s like to long for a parent’s love and validation. This is a story I connect with deeply.” The first film in the trilogy, Bwakaw, won the best actor prize at last year’s Asian Film Awards for Eddie Garcia and was picked up by Fortissimo Films. It also played at Toronto and New York and was selected as the Philippines’ submission to the Oscars’ best foreign-language film category. The second in the trilogy, Barber’s Tales, won the best actress prize for Eugene Domingo at Tokyo International Film Festival in 2013 and has a best actress nomination at this year’s AFAs. It also won the HAF, ARRI and Technicolor awards at last year’s HAF. Further casting details are yet to be announced but Domingo will play “a special role” in Our Father. “If everything goes to plan, principal photography should start in May,” says Lana. “But like Barber’s Tales, we’re still flexible to accommodate any potential investor/production partner.” Jean Noh
So Be It
Devil And Dust
Producers Kongdej Jaturanrasamee,
Producers Shen Yang, Jia Lisha Production company Loyalty & Royalty Cultural Transmission Budget $600,000 Finance raised to date $60,000 Contact Shen Yang shenyang60@126.
Producers Wolf Chen, Jacky Pang Production companies Double Edge Entertainment Budget $5m Finance raised to date $2.5m Contact Eric Chou
Producers Ferdinand Lapuz, Perci Intalan Production company Octobertrain Films Budget $150,000 Finance raised to date $20,000 (seed money from local partners in Manila) Contact Ferdinand
Soros Sukhum, Attaphon Na Bangxang Production companies Song Sound Production, TrueVisions Budget $366,700 Finance raised to date $205,000 Contact Parinee Buthrasri firstname.lastname@example.org
n 10 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
Screen Daily.indd 1
2/7/2014 12:25:16 PM
In partnership with
Trading ideas in Hong Kong UK Trade & Investment, UK Film and Screen International held a drinks reception here in Hong Kong on Monday evening at the Mandarin Oriental to recognise the achievements of the British industry at Filmart and beyond
n 12 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
filmart IN PICTURES
ndrew Willis, University of Salford, A Philomena Chen, UK Trade and Investment, Angie Chen, Scorpio Films, Pamela Lay, Scorpio Films, Sarah Perks, Cornerhouse and Emma Chibulu, Box Productions.
liver Stoltz, Dreamer Joint Venture, O Andy Green, Distrify and Alastair Clark, Wellington Films.
Michael Rosser, Screen International, Richard Flood, UK Trade & Investment, Philomena Chen, UK Trade & Investment and Charlie Bloye, Film Export UK.
evin Adege, Content Film and Vicki Brown, K Altitude.
enriette Wollmann, Celsius Entertainment H and Thierry Wase-Bailey, Celsius Entertainment.
arah McKenzie, Sargent-Disc and Kevin S McGlone, UK Trade & Investment.
L ee Li, UK Trade & Investment, Lili Zheng, Film Young, Kaihong Lin, Xingxing Entertainment.
enjamin Ross, Grimm Distribution, Steve B Balshaw, Grimmfest, Naomi Pattirane, NQ Films, David Chen, DC Brands International, Zhang Yan, UK Trade & Investment.
L udovica Stoppa, Europacorp SA, Laurent Danielou, Rezo (part of Unifrance), Lucero Garzon, Pyramide International and Agathe Valentin, Les Films du Losange
10 A na Vicente, Dogwoof and Emmanuelle Le Courtois, Wide 11 S arah Lebutsch, Independent and Mercy Liao, Westend Films. 12 C atherine Lee, UK Trade & Investment and Danny Wong, Visun International
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 13 n
FEATURE FOCUS industry is mostly funded by advertising. Revenues for online video sites climbed to $2bn (RMB12.8bn) in 2013, of which advertising accounted for 75%, and is predicted to rise to $5.95bn (RMB36.6bn) in 2017. The remaining 25% is derived from selling content rights on to other platforms and valueadded services to consumers such as apps and online games. However, the industry has become intensely competitive in a short space of time and, although Youku Tudou moved into profit in the last quarter of 2013, the high costs of acquiring content, bandwidth and servers are keeping profit margins slim.
Sohu streamed the second season of House Of Cards at the same time as Netflix in the US
Crossing the streams
China’s online video boom Boasting a mix of local and foreign content, online streaming is big business in China. Liz Shackleton reports on the consolidation in the sector and what the future holds hile online video is slowly gaining momentum in the rest of the world, in China it has already become the major platform for consuming entertainment on small screens — at least for younger audiences who are turned off by the stodgy content on state-controlled TV. China has 460 million online video viewers, according to consulting firm iResearch, a figure that is set to rise to 700 million by 2016. The content mix is broad — viewers can watch local and foreign films, TV shows and animation. TV drama, including Korean soaps and the latest US and UK shows, appears to be driving viewership, accounting for more than 50% of viewing duration. Leading internet portal Sohu streamed the second season of House Of Cards at the same time as Netflix in the US, while China’s biggest internet company, Tencent, has a channel dedicated to UK dramas including Sherlock, Skins and Wire In The Blood. Movies account for only 10% of viewing dura-
■ 14 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
tion, but certain titles can attract big numbers and consumers are more likely to pay for film. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon racked up 130 million views on Youku Tudou’s platforms and Tencent has created a subscription channel, Hollywood VIP, which offers movies such as The Avengers, Oblivion and The Conjuring.. Some of the online video platforms also carry user-generated content and nearly all have stepped into producing their own content, including microfilms, web serials and more recently films. For Chinese viewers, this means access to an unprecedented wealth of content — most of which they can view for free. While the leading platforms are experimenting with payment models, the
The major players have been spending big to win market share, but the competition has already resulted in consolidation — industry pioneers Youku and Tudou merged in 2012, and leading search engine Baidu acquired PPStream last year, which it merged with its existing online video platform, iQiyi. Further consolidation is expected later this year. Competition has also resulted in higher licensing fees for Western content sellers, although it is thought the Chinese video platforms are still paying less than regular broadcasters. Piracy is also a major headache for the big online video companies, which have been proactive in removing unlicensed content from their own websites in order to attract advertisers and clean up for stock-market flotations, but still face a tide of rogue websites, video players and apps. Last year, several legitimate platforms and the Motion Picture Association joined forces to fight piracy, and took legal action against Baidu and software company QVOD for providing access to unlicensed content. Both companies were fined. With technology constantly evolving, the online video giants also need to move fast to keep up with the next delivery mechanisms and consumer behaviour. While viewing was initially PC-based, the availability of smartphones and development of 4G networks is driving viewership towards mobile platforms. More than 100 million people in China are currently using mobile phones and tablets to access online video services every month. The shift is driving them towards ‘hit’ content that they are more likely to share with their friends. Streaming content to televisions is the next frontier, and all the leading video platforms are exploring tie-ups with manufacturers of set-top boxes and smart TVs. LeTV has so far been the most active in the smart TV business, launching its ‘SuperTVs’ and offering some content exclusively on this platform. Its rivals are looking at whether they need to move into areas such as hardware and cloud computing, or whether it is sufficient to work with a range of existing players. However the industry evolves, it is likely to remain competitive, dynamic and with a huge appetite for both local and foreign content. So far, foreign movies and TV shows on online platforms appear to have had a much easier ride with government regulators than content acquired for broadcast television and theatrical release. The question is how much longer the state will allow this industry to develop unchecked when there must be a temptation on both a regulatory and commercial level to inters vene. ■
Screenings, page 21
The A-stream: CHINA’S LEADING ONLINE VIDEO COMPANIES
Sohu Video tv.sohu.com
youku.com / tudou.com China’s biggest online video company was formed by the merger of two industry leaders, Youku and Tudou, in 2012. The New York Stock Exchange-listed company licenses content from all the US studios and big independents such as Lionsgate and Fremantle Media. It recently signed a deal to show Lionsgate’s Orange Is The New Black just 24 hours after Netflix in the US. Its most popular shows include The Walking Dead, Sherlock and Downton Abbey. Youku and Tudou both started out by focusing on user-generated content (UGC), which remains an important part of the combined entity’s content mix. The company has also moved into production of micro-films, web serials and movies — it invested in Edko Films’ Firestorm and co-produced Old Boys: The Way Of The Dragon, based on its popular micro-film. While most of its content is free to viewers, the company launched the Youku Premium subscription channel in 2010. Who to know Victor Koo, CEO; Zhu Xiangyang, head of content; Allen Zhu, head of movies
The video unit of NASDAQ-listed Chinese internet portal Sohu has acquired US TV shows such as Saturday Night Live, Ellen and House Of Cards, and also recently signed a deal with BBC Worldwide for factual and drama content including Sinbad, Silk and Frozen Planet. The second season of House Of Cards was streamed simultaneously with Netflix in the US, and became a huge sensation due to its China-related storylines. Some of those storylines, such as corruption, cyber-espionage and tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea, would never have made it onto mainstream television, suggesting that censorship is more relaxed on video platforms. Rumours are now swirling that Sohu and Tencent will merge their video operations, after merging their search engines (Sohu’s Sogou and Tencent’s Soso) last year. Who to know Charles Zhang, CEO
Tencent Video v.qq.com
China’s biggest internet company has revenues and profits bigger than Facebook ($9.91bn and $3.15bn respectively in 2013), mostly from e-commerce and online games. The Hong Kong-listed giant also operates the popular WeChat and QQ messaging services. The company is now bulking up on movies and TV shows for its online video platform, which also carries a small amount of UGC, probably less than 10% of overall content. Tencent’s Hollywood VIP online movie service (film.qq.com) has deals with Disney, Lionsgate, Miramax, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. It offers a monthly subscription video-on-demand service and also sells movies on a transactional video-on-demand basis, just a few weeks after US theatrical release. Tencent has also struck deals with the BBC and five other UK production companies for its UK drama channel, while its US television content includes CSI. Who to know SY Lau, president, Tencent Online Media Group; Sun Zhong Huai, vice-president, online video business
iqiyi.com / pps.tv Launched by China’s leading search engine Baidu in early 2010 with backing from venture capital firm Providence Equity Partners, which also backed Hulu, iQiyi has a similar model to the US video-on-demand (VoD) pioneer in streaming licensed video content that is mostly free to users but supported by advertising. NASDAQ-listed Baidu bought out Providence’s stake in 2012 and acquired rival online video platform PPStream for $370m last year, which it is merging with iQiyi. The company is also moving into smart TVs, working with television manufacturer TCL Multimedia on the brand TV+, and with Galaxy Internet Television and Skyworth Digital Holdings on set-top boxes. At the end of 2013, rumours began surfacing that Baidu would launch an IPO for iQiyi in the US in 2014, after successfully floating its Qunar online travel unit last year. Who to know Gong Yu, founder and CEO; Zhang Hongyu and Xu Weifeng, co-presidents (formerly with PPStream)
Founded by Jia Yueting in 2004, this profitable Shenzhen-listed company not only provides the platform and content for online viewing, but also the viewing terminal and apps. The company teamed up with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn to manufacture smart TVs, branded as Super TV, which support 3D viewing and stream content paid for through annual $80 (rmb499) subscription packages. It also has a deal to be the exclusive over-the-top (OTT) distributor in China for the first and second seasons of House Of Cards. The company’s regular online platform, available through all devices, started out as subscription-only but later added free viewing supported by advertising. LeTV also has a film production and distribution subsidiary, Le Vision Pictures, which produces local movies including Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home and scored a $53m hit when it distributed The Expendables 2 in China. Who to know Jia Yueting, chairman and CEO; Liu Hong, COO
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 15 n
Relationship status What are the biggest challenges faced by European producers when teaming up with Chinese partners to gain access to the territory’s $3bn box office? Melanie Goodfellow reports rench director Philippe Muyl spent two hours a day learning Mandarin before shooting The Nightingale in Beijing and the southern Chinese region of Guangxi in 2012. The film is a Mandarin-language re-working of Muyl’s 2002 film The Butterfly, about an old man who takes an eight-year-old girl on a butterfly hunt, which was a huge hit in China. The new film stars Chinese actor Baotian Li as a grandfather who bonds with his spoilt granddaughter as they journey from Beijing to their rural ancestral home. Muyl’s ability to communicate with the Chinese cast and crew was just one of the challenges facing the production. “The way of working is very different. It seems very disorganised but within this disorganisation things get done,” says producer Steve René. Once on set, he adds: “The rhythm is a lot more intense than back home. You don’t get much sleep.” René, who lives between China and his native France, produced The Nightingale with his Chinese wife Ning Ning, a former actress and TV producer, through their Beijing-based company Envision. The film’s other partners include Hong Kong and China foreign film distribution veteran Paul Delbecq
The Nightingale, directed by Philippe Muyl
n 16 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
‘The rhythm is a lot more intense than back home. You don’t get much sleep’ Steve René, producer
under the France-based Pan Eurasia Film banner, and associate producers Kuang Da Ai of Guangxi Film Group, Qin Hong of Chinese production and distribution company Stella Mega Films, and Elsa Rodde of France’s Germaine Films. The Nightingale, titled Le Promeneur d’Oiseau in French and Ye Ying in Mandarin, is only the second official France-China co-production to be completed since the two countries signed a film treaty in 2010. The first was Wang Xiaoshuai’s 11 Flowers, which portrayed the Cultural Revolution through the eyes of a child. The Nightingale, which was showcased at Screen Singapore in July 2013 before heading to Busan International Film Festival in January, will see its Chinese premiere at Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) in April. “A lot of co-productions have been announced but very few have happened as yet,” says René of the difficulties of putting together an official FranceChina collaboration. “It’s a complicated process. Just coming to China can be a culture shock for Europeans, let alone trying to make a film here.” René has launched a Paris-based company called Between Us Films, which he hopes will act
as a bridge between France and China. He is already developing a second co-production with Guangxi Film Group. The as-yet-untitled project will be an intergenerational epic spanning the 1940s to the present day, set in China, Vietnam and France. It is based on a screenplay by Fan Yiping who wrote the script for Lu Chuan’s cult 2012 hit thriller The Missing Gun. Further French companies making in-roads into China include Paris-based entertainment management firm ECI, which also has offices in Beijing and Los Angeles. “You can’t just go over once or twice and hand out business cards. You have to visit often and regularly,” says ECI CEO Vincent Fischer, who is developing a slate of English-language co-productions with China that he will announce during BJIFF. Ile de France Film Commission is keen to promote Paris as a location and post-production hub. It is at Filmart with a consortium of companies including line producers Bayoo and VFX firm Knightworks. Upcoming France-China co-productions to receive the official stamp to date include Charles de Meaux’s The Lady In The Portrait, inspired by the
EUROPE-ASIA CO-PRODUCTIONS FEATURE
Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem
18th century empress Ulanara; Wang Chao’s Looking For Rohmer, a road movie travelling between Tibet, Beijing, Paris and Provence; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s completed Wolf Totem, majority-produced by China Film Group; and Pascal Morelli’s feature-length animation 108 Demon Kings, which is inspired by the Chinese classic Water Margin. “108 Demon Kings is perfect for us, given our knowledge of China and Chinese culture, as it is based on one of the ‘Four Great Classical Novels of China’,” says Gregory Ouanhon, executive vicepresident of Shanghai-based production and distribution company Fundamental Films, owned by Mark Gao Jingdong. The animation is being leadproduced by France’s Same Player with the support of Belgium’s Scope Pictures and Luxembourg’s Bidibul Productions. It combines martial-arts scenes shot in Beijing using motion-capture technology and animation work being done in Europe. EuropaCorp, which has a production and distribution pact with Fundamental Films, is selling the film internationally. Fundamental is also co-producing EuropaCorp’s Warrior’s Gate and its upcoming reboot of the Transporter franchise, which will shoot partly in China. Delegations from the UK and Italy will also be out in force at Filmart and BJIFF. The UK and China announced a co-production treaty last December, which is awaiting ratification. One project to benefit from that could be an English-language remake of Feng Xiaogang’s hit A World Without Thieves, Thieves to be produced by experienced UK producer Duncan Kenworthy (Notting Notting Hill Hill). A co-production treaty between Italy and China will be signed during BJIFF. Italy-China co-productions in the works include Maurizio S c i a r r a ’s E v e r l a s t i n g Moments,, and Cristiano Bortone’s Coffee.. Set against the
‘You can’t just go over once or twice and hand out business cards, you have to visit often and regularly’ Vincent Fischer, ECI
backdrop of Yunnan in 1905, Everlasting Moments portrays a doomed love affair between an Italian photographer and a Chinese woman on the run from an arranged marriage. Rome-based Urania Pictures is producing the project in association with China Movie Channel and Stephen Lam at Sil Metropol. Principal photography is scheduled to take place in 2015. Bortone’s Coffee intertwines three stories set in Rome, London and Beijing and will shoot this summer. The $3.5m (¤2.5m) production is being coproduced by Italy’s Orisa Produzioni, the UK’s Ipso Facto Films and China’s Ray Production and Road Pictures. The latter is a production and distribution company founded by former Mercedes Benz China vice-president Cai Gongming in 2013. Bortone, who teaches at Beijing Film Academy, is also trying to launch a development workshop aimed at fostering projects that appeal to both Chinese and European sensibilities, called Bridging the Dragon. Romantic comedy C’e Sempre Un Perche, pro-
duced by and starring actress Maria Grazie Cucinotta, which features Chinese actor Huang Hai-Bo, is also expected to receive official co-production status. The film shot in Sicily and the western Chinese city of Chengdu, and was co-produced by Seven Dreams International, Beijing Ciwen Film Distribution and Stars Pictures. Netherlands is also pre-preparing a co-production treaty with China and exploring different ways to collaborate. “A memorandum of understanding was signed between Beijing Film Academy and Netherlands Film Academy last September and the two institutions are now gearing up for a student exchange,” said a spokesperson for Netherlands Film Fund. Several Dutch-Chinese documentaries are in the works, while Amsterdam-based Lemming Film is planning to shoot David Verbeek’s Shanghai-set, Mandarin-language vampire picture Dead And Beautiful in late 2014. It is a co-production with Natacha Devillers’ Shanghai-based China Blue s Films. ■
FRANCE-CHINA CO-PROS: THE FIRST WAVE Following 11 Flowers, which grossed $800,000 (RMB5m) in China (170,000 admissions), the first co-productions to test the Chinese market will be 108 Demon Kings and The Nightingale. Fundamental, which will release 108 Demon Kings on more than 2,000 screens later this year, is putting together a high-profile Mandarin-language voice cast. “This is a bit of an experiment for us,” admits Fundamental’s Gregory (Left) 11 Flowers
Ouanhon. “The Chinese have yet to fully embrace the feature-length animation format. Audiences in the big cities are pretty sophisticated but the growth at the moment is in the second or third-tier cities, where tastes are more mainstream.” The Nightingale is due to hit screens in China and France in May, where it will be distributed by Stella Mega Films and UGC Distribution respectively. “We’re in this strange situation where the film is regarded as an arthouse picture in China and a film with mainstream, commercial potential in France,” says the film’s producer Steve René. “We don’t quite know what to expect in China, the audience is changing so rapidly.”
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 17 ■
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Published May 14-21
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JAPAN HOT TITLES
A Record Of Sweet Murder
Be My Baby
Hot titles: Japan Japanese companies attend Filmart with a strong line-up of titles. Jason Gray highlights some of the most eye-catching productions Forma
A Record Of Sweet Murder Dir Koji Shiraishi Nikkatsu has been on a crime-driven roll with Devil’s Path and Japan-Indonesia co-production Killers. Now comes Japan-Korea collaboration A Record Of Sweet Murder (aka One Cut), directed by low-budget fear and gore maestro Koji Shiraishi (Grotesque). A socially conscious journalist (Kim Kkobbi) is contacted by an escaped serial killer (Yeon Je-wook), who happens to be her childhood friend. The killer requests an interview to be filmed in one shot while he tells the stories behind his numerous murders, including the ones still to be committed. Also stars Tsukasa Aoi and Ryotaro Yonemura. The film is a market premiere. Contact Nikkatsu
Be My Baby Dir Hitoshi One Be My Baby unfolds in the two weeks following a house party attended by nine twenty-somethings, in this honest take on relationships in modern Japan. Hitoshi One directed popular romantic comedy Love Strikes!. This time he collaborates with veteran indie producer-director Masashi Yamamoto (ThreePoints) of Cinema Impact. It stars Kenta Niikura, Naoko Wakai and Chihiro Shibata, and screens as an international premiere in the festival and market. Contact CinemaImpact
Campaign 2 Dir Kazuhiro Soda
In Campaign 2, documentary film-maker Kazuhiro Soda returns to hangdog political candidate Kazuhiko Yamauchi, subject of the original Peabody-winning Campaign (2008). After several years raising his son, Yamauchi returns to politics to run for Kawasaki city council, this
time without any backing or funds. With a campaign budget of less than $1,000, Yamauchi mounts an anti-nuclear platform directly after the March 11, 2011 tsunami disaster. In addition to other international prizes, Soda’s Mental and Peace were awarded humanitarian prizes in Hong Kong in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Campaign 2 screens as an international premiere. Contact Laboratory X
Forma Dir Ayumi Sakamoto Ayumi Sakamoto’s Forma recently won the Fipresci award in Berlin’s Forum programme, with the jury praising its effective minimalism. The prize adds to the film’s laurels since its first win at last October’s Tokyo fest, where Hong Kong’s programmers pegged Forma for a potential slot. Sakamoto’s quietly gripping film will vie for another prize in the Young Cinema competition. Seller Free Stone Productions will also stage two market screenings for buyers interested in this can’t-look-away psychological suspense drama. Contact Free Stone Productions firstname.lastname@example.org
The Little House Dir Yoji Yamada At last month’s Berlinale, Yoji Yamada’s period drama, The Little House, won a Silver Bear for best actress for Haruki Kuroki’s performance as a devoted young maid who grows conflicted over a secret liaison between her housewife employer and her husband’s younger colleague. The feature also stars Takako Matsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki and Chieko Baisho. Shochiku will continue sales of the film at Filmart. Contact Shochiku
The Snow White Murder Case Dir Yoshihiro Nakamura
This Shochiku-produced thriller set in the world of social media marks the third adaptation of author Kanae Minato’s contemporary novels, following Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Penance and Tetsuya Nakashima’s Confessions. Mao Inoue (The Eternal Zero) stars as a plain-Jane cosmetics company office worker suspected of killing and incinerating her beautiful colleague. Rumours about her guilt fly on Twitter and trash TV, affecting the investigation. Directed by in-demand talent Yoshihiro Nakamura (Golden Slumber), the film also stars Nanao, Go Ayano and Misako Renbutsu. The Snow White Murder Case screens as an international premiere following its local release on March 29. s Contact Shochiku email@example.com ■ (Left) The Snow White Murder Case
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 19 ■
Events 09:00 - 17:00 Open-Ended Drama Workshop and Discussion Forum Venue Meeting Room S221,
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 10:00 - 12:00 The Next Generation Film Industry in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities Venue Stage, Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Moderator Alexander Wan, senior adviser, China Daily Asia Pacific Speakers Adolfo Alix Jr, independent director, Philippines; Chen Bin, senior vice-president, DMG Entertainment and Media Group; Cheung Chi Sing, vice-chairman, Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers; Lee Joo-ick,
executive producer, Boram Entertainment; Edward Neubronner, senior vice-president and regional operations officer, Asia Pacific of Motion Picture Association, Singapore; Kong Rithdee, filmmaker, Bangkok Post; Liz Shackleton, Asia editor, Screen International With China fast becoming the second largest movie market in the world and in the course of doing so, redefining the movie industry value chain, how would the Asian movie industry further develop? Will Asia take over from Hollywood as the centre stage of global movie industry? What are the challenges and opportunities ahead?
10:30 - 12:00
10:30 - 13:00
The Strategy of Japanese TV Contents Expanding Overseas via Hong Kong Venue Stage, Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Moderator Tomoko Komatsuzaki, president and PR producer, iNTO Speakers Toshikazu Masuyama, directorgeneral, Hokkaido Bureau Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Tomokatsu Fukui, executive director, Sapporo Electronics; Koji Kanazawa, vice-chairman, Association of All Japan TV Program Production Companies; Fred Wang, honorary secretary, Hong Kong International Film; Soko Izumi, Meiah Entertainment Group, MATV Limited Anchor
The Way Forward for Computer Graphic Practitioners Venue Meeting Rooms
& What’s Next – Animation, Interactive Design and Transmedia Venue Studio, Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
S226-S227, HKCEC Moderator Gabriel Pang,
12:15 - 13:15 ‘Full Strike’ Press Conference Venue Event Room, Hall 1, HKCEC
13:30 - 15:30 Emperor Motion Pictures Press Conference Venue Stage, Hall 1, HKCEC
14:00 - 16:00 Filming in Italy Venue Event Room, Hall 1, HKCEC
14:00 - 16:30 Digital Entertainment Summit: What’s New
chairman, Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association Speakers Simon Yuen, character supervisor, Digital Domain; Alex Li, senior camera and staging artist, Animated Feature Film; Eric Siu, creative director, Great Works Tokyo; Lam Wai-keung, lecturer, Department of Communication Design and Digital Media, Hong Kong Design Institute 16:30 - 18:00 The 12th Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum Awards
Presentation Ceremony Venue Stage, Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
17:00 - 18:00 Reception to Celebrate US-HK Partnership at FILMART Venue Event Room, Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
17:30 - 18:30 Microfilm Production Support Programme (Music) Awards Cocktail Venue Theatre Foyer, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
18:30 - 20:30 Microfilm Production Support Programme (Music) Awards Presentation Ceremony and Premiere Venue Theatre 2, HKCEC
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n 20 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2013
» Screening times and venues are correct at the time of going to press but subject to alteration
Edited by Paul Lindsell firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Hao Zhou. Key cast: Zhou Hao, Liu Xiao Xiao, Li Jin Kang, Zhou Feng Qi.
09:30 M Cream
(India) 113mins. Comedy, drama. All Rights Entertainment. Dir: Agneya Singh. Key cast: Immad Shah, Ira Dubey, Barry John, Tom Alter, Aurita Ghosh, Raaghav Chanana, Lushin Dubey, Beatrice Ordeix. A motley crew of university students set out on a journey in pursuit of a mythical form of hash, meeting a series of challenges that begin to unravel the myriad realities of rebellion.
Meeting Room N101B, HKCEC
12:00 The Chair of Happiness
(Italy) 92mins. Comedy, drama. European Film Promotion (representing Rai Trade). Dir: Carlo Mazzacuratii. Key cast: Valerio Mastandrea, Isabella Ragonese, Giuseppe Battiston. A treasure hidden in a chair, a beautician and a tattoo artist who fall in love while looking for it, a mysterious priest looming over them like a threat.
Theatre 1, HKCEC
09:45 Lake August
(China) 113mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Yang Heng. Key cast: Tian Li, Shang Xiaoling, Yao Maosheng. One summer morning, Ah Li’s father throws himself into a lake and ends his life. After the funeral, Ah Li lives a solitary existence until one day, his former girlfriend tells him she is getting married.
Meeting Room N101A, HKCEC
Filmart 10:00 Ablations
(France, Belgium) 93mins. Drama. Funny Balloons. Dir: Arnold De Parscau. Key cast: Denis Menochet, Virginie Ledoyen, Yolande Moreau. A man wakes up at dawn in a wasteland with no
memory of his escapades the night before. Back at his hotel, he discovers a freshly stitched scar on his back. His former mistress, now a surgeon, makes her diagnosis: someone has stolen his kidney. Meeting Room N101A, HKCEC
Meeting Room N201A, HKCEC
Life Feels Good
(Poland) 107mins. Drama. Intramovies. Dir: Maciej Pieprzyca. Key cast: Dawid Ogrodnik, Kamil Tkacz, Dorota Kolak, Arkadiusz Jakubik, Katarzyna Zawadzka. The story of Mateusz, a man with cerebral palsy, who in his early childhood was diagnosed as mentally disabled and had no contact with the outside world. After 25 years it turned out that diagnosis was incorrect. We get to know Mateusz now, when he is 30 and is still institutionalised at a clinic for the mentally disabled. He is about to be examined by the board to judge his mental health.
Entertainment. Dir: Wang Zhangjun, Yin Yuqi. Meeting Room N102-N103, HKCEC
Key cast: Ivo Pietzcker, Georg Arms, Luise Heyer, Nele Mueller-Stofen, Vincent Redetzki, Jacob Matschenz.
Den Dop, Bob Schwarze. Meis is 15, lives in the back of beyond and aspires to a grand and stirring life, but all that happens is the passing of the time, waiting for the next car to run into the front of the house. She dreams of a young car driver called “Brad”, whom she would like to take care of and maybe have sex with. During one of Meis’ forbidden, dangerous nocturnal visits to the half bridge, deliverance arrives.
Theatre 2, HKCEC
Meeting Room N204-N205, HKCEC
Journey to the West
The Tale of Iya
(France) 56mins. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Tsai Ming Liang. Key cast: Lee Kang Sheng, Denis Lavant. In a new edition of the ancient Buddhist ritual journeys, Xuanzang, the seventh century monk celebrated for his rigour and his 17-year quest for vacuity on the roads of Asia, wanders through the streets of Marseille.
(Japan) 169mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Tsuta Tetsuichiro. Key cast: Takeda Rina, Tanaka Min, Ohnishi, Kawase Naomi, Murakami Hitoshi.
Ablations See box, above
(Taiwan) 96mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Chienn Hsiang. Key cast: Shiang-chyi Chen, Easton Dong. Ling juggles redundancy, a hospital-bound mother, a crumbling flat, menopause and a rebellious daughter in this sharply observed chronicle of an average woman’s struggle against despair.
Meeting Room N101B, HKCEC Press only
Meeting Room N209-N210, HKCEC
agnes b. CINEMA! Hong Kong Arts Centre
(Hong Kong) 90mins. Blank. Digital Entertainment Pavilion.
Meeting Room N109-N110, HKCEC
Seer 3 3D
(China) 103mins. Action/ adventure, animation, children’s. All Rights
(Germany) 103mins. Drama. Beta Cinema. Dir: Edward Berger.
(Netherlands, Germany, Belgium) 102mins. Drama. Wide. Dir: Tamar Van Den Dop. Key cast: Gaite Jansen, Tamar Van
Meeting Room N211-N212, HKCEC
10:30 Digital Entertainment Pavilion’s Highlights
11:00 Fall of Ming
(China) 100mins. China
Film Promotion International. Meeting Room N202-N203, HKCEC
(China) 98mins. Drama. China Film Promotion International. Dir: Luo Bin. Key cast: Chen Xiaoxia, Zhao Leyi, Zhu Xuan, Fang Xiaoli. In China, the problem of abandoned babies has become a serious social issue. Qiang had a car accident and became an invalid. Baby Xin had an inoperable brain tumour so was abandoned to die. Ying, a rebellious country girl, left the city where she worked and returned home. This is a story of a family, about hope, faith and love. Meeting Room N206-N207, HKCEC
(Japan) 118mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Nao Kubota. Key cast: Kenichi Matsuyama, Seiyo Uchino, Yuko Tanaka, Sakura Ando, Yoji Tanaka. Meeting Room N111-N112, HKCEC
11:30 The Night
(China) 95mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry
(Lithuania, Latvia) 109mins. Drama. Wide. Dir: Ignas Jonynas. Key cast: Vytautas Kaniusonis, Oona Mekas, Romuald Lavrynovic, Valerijus Jevsejevas, Lukas Kersys. Paramedic Vincentas is a passionate gambler, who is forced to make radical decisions to repay his debts. An idea strikes him to create an illegal game related to his profession. Love, life and death will be at stake. Meeting Room N204-N205, HKCEC
The Last Act
(Hong Kong) 85mins. Drama. Dragon Horse Films. Dir: Jeff Kennedy. Key cast: Robin Queree, Muriel Hofmann, Caroline Addison, Charlie Schroeder, “Kieran” Barry O’Rorke. After suffering a minor stroke, down-and-out playwright Harold Lansky is left in the hands of a suspicious new caregiver, Ruth. Resembling his latewife and full of questions about her death, Ruth embarks on a campaign to expose and destroy Harold through the unearthing of a long-lost stage play that hides ghosts from Harold’s past. Aided by a nosy but smart 10-year-old neighbour, Harold »
March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 21 n
Musical. XYZ Films. Dir: Jerome Sable. Key cast: Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf, Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith. A snobby musical theatre camp is terrorised by a blood-thirsty killer.
attempts to uncover the truth about Ruth’s identity and free himself from her control before it is too late. Meeting Room N102-N103, HKCEC
School of Babel
(France) 89mins. Documentary. Pyramide International. Dir: Julie Bertuccelli. They are Irish, Senegalese, Brazilian, Moroccan, Chinese. They are between 11 and 15 years old and have just arrived in France. For a year they will be all together in the same adaptation class of a Parisian secondary school. In this multicultural arena, we see the innocence, the enthusiasm and inner turmoil of these teenagers who, caught in the midst of starting out on a new life, question our preconceived ideas and give us hope for a better future. Meeting Room N209-N210, HKCEC
Yes and Yes
(Russia) 115mins. Drama, romance. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Valeria Gai Germanica. Key cast: Agnia Kuznetsova, Alexander Gorchilin.
Meeting Room N209-N210, HKCEC
Stations of The Cross
(Germany) 107mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Dietrich Bruggemann. Key cast: Lea van Acken, Franziska Weisz, Florian Stetter, Lucie Aron, Mron, Moritz Knapp, Michael Kamp, Georg Wesch. Meeting Room N101A, HKCEC
Three Working Generations
Filmart 13:45 Uzumasa Limelight
(Japan) 103mins. Action/adventure, drama. Eleven Arts. Dir: Ken Ochiai. Key cast: Seizou Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Gouda, Hisako Manda. Uzumasa is considered the Hollywood of Japan. It has produced many
‘Jidaigeki’ films — period dramas with sword fights. These films wouldn’t be what they were if it weren’t for the “Kirareyaku”, actors who’s main job is to be killed by the lead star. Men who are killed, without ever being lit by the limelight. Meeting Room N111-N112, HKCEC
agnes b. CINEMA! Hong Kong Arts Centre
12:15 The Little House
(Japan) 136mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Yoji Yamada. Key cast: Takako Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Takataro Kataoka, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chieko Baisho. Meeting Room N201A, HKCEC
The Midnight after
(Hong Kong) 120mins. Drama, horror/suspense, sci-fi, fantasy. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Fruit Chan. Key cast: Wong You Nam, Janice Man, Simon Yam, Kara Hui, Chui Tien You, Lam Suet, Vincci Cheuk, Lee Sheung Ching, Sam Lee, Cherry Ngan. Story of a late-night minibus driving from urban Hong Kong to the New Territories town of Tai Po. The driver and his
16 passengers go through Lion Rock Tunnel and find the world changed on the other side.
fellows, comprising elves, wizards and humans. Together they set off to face the Black Dragon.
Theatre 1, HKCEC
Theatre 2, HKCEC
12:30 Dragon Nest: Rise of the Black Dragon
(China, US) 30mins. Action/adventure, animation, children’s. All Rights Entertainment. Dir: Song Yuefeng. For half a century, the power of the evil Black Dragon has been sweeping through the once peaceful land of Altera. Lambert, an ordinary village boy, witnessed the murder of his parents and the destruction of his hometown. He swears to obtain mighty powers to revenge his parents’ death and bring back peace to his beloved country. Years later, Lambert joins the Dragon Slayers League, a companionship of fearless
n 22 Screen International at Filmart March 26, 2014
(France) 55mins. Drama, romance. Wide. Dir: Jean-Louis Daniel. Key cast: Marine Renoir, Johanna Capliez, Marie Fevrier, Benjamin Feitelson, David Atrakchi, Akim Ben Hafsia. Two young women’s destinies cross as they go from Paris to Cambodia, hell to redemption. They will finally meet at the seventh wonder of the world: the Angkor Temples, lost deep in the jungle. Meeting Room N201B, HKCEC
Rights Entertainment. Dir: Song Yuefeng. Theatre 2, HKCEC
Hong Kong ICT Awards 2013 Highlights
(Hong Kong) 120mins. Blank. Digital Entertainment Pavilion. Meeting Room N109-N110, HKCEC
13:30 Man from Reno
(US) 111mins. Drama, horror/suspense, organised crime. Eleven Arts. Dir: Dave Boyle. Key cast: Ayako Fujitani, Kazuki Kitamura, Pepe Serna. Japanese mystery author Aki Akahori takes a trip to San Francisco in order to escape the press tour for the latest book in her world-famous Inspector Takabe series. Feeling lonely and vulnerable, she begins an affair with a mysterious traveller from Reno who is staying in the same hotel. Her lover is charismatic and charming but disappears abruptly from the hotel, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions. Meeting Room N211-N212, HKCEC By invitation only
Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Bas Devos. Key cast: Cesar De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer, Koen De Sutter, Fania Sorel, Brent Minne. Fifteen-year-old Jesse is the only one who witnesses the stabbing of his friend, Jonas. Now he has to face his family and friends from the BMX riders crew and explain the unexplainable – how he feels about it. Meeting Room N101B, HKCEC
14:00 Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants
(France, Belgium) 85mins. Animation. Futurikon. Dir: Thomas Zsabo, Helene Giraud. In a peaceful forest, the remains of a picnic trigger a ruthless war between rival ant colonies, obsessed with gaining control of the same prize: a box of sugar cubes. Amid this struggle, a young ladybug befriends a black ant and helps him save his friends from the horrible red ants. Theatre 2, HKCEC
National Base for International Cultural Trade Hit Shows
120mins. National Base For International Cultural Trade.
(China) China Film Promotion International. 90mins. Meeting Room N206-N207, HKCEC
The Ultimate Accessory
(France) 109mins. Wild Bunch. Dir: Valerie Lemercier. Key cast: Samatin Pendev, Valerie Lemercier, Gilles Lellouche, Marina Fois, Nanou Garcia, Olivier Perrier, Bruno Podalydes. Aleksandra has a fantastic husband, a fantastic apartment in Paris, a fantastic lover and a fantastic job as editor-inchief of Elle magazine. In short, she’s got it all except the ultimate accessory – a child. With her usual good luck, the adoption goes smoothly. Seven-year-old Aleksei arrives from Russia into this 100 per cent cashmere home. Only he’s not as cute as the rest. Meeting Room N102-N103, HKCEC
(Japan) 145mins. Drama, horror/suspense. Dir: Sakamoto Ayumi. Key cast: Matsuoka Emiko, Umeno Nagisa, Nozoe seiji, Mitsuishi Ken. Meeting Room N201B, HKCEC
Dragon Nest: Rise of the Black Dragon
See box, above
Meeting Room N104-N105, HKCEC
‘NEW ACTION EXPRESS’ Short Film Highlights:
(China, US) 30mins. Action/adventure, animation, children’s. All
(Belgiou) 82mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry
(Canada) 89mins. Horror/suspense,
(Hong Kong) 18mins. Animation. Hong Kong
Arts Centre. Dir: Lau Kwun Yiu, Johnee.
» K.A.R.L. (Hong Kong) 9mins. Drama, sci-fi, fantasy. Hong Kong Arts Centre. Dir: Eli Tsui.
» Left Behind (Hong Kong) 20mins. Documentary. Hong Kong Arts Centre. Dir: Leung Yu John.
» Not Now But When (Hong Kong) 23mins. Drama. Hong Kong Arts Centre. Dir: Yuen ChiHim.
» Wheelchair Users (Hong Kong) 19mins. Documentary. Hong Kong Arts Centre. Dir: Chiu Wing Wa. Meeting Room N204-N205, HKCEC
14:45 Black Coal, Thin Ice
(China) 106mins. Drama, horror/suspense. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Diao Yinan. Key cast: Fan Liao, Lun Mei Gwei, Xuebing Wang. Ex-cop Zhang Zili, seriously wounded five years earlier while working on a gruesome murder case, was forced to retire from the police force due to his injuries. Five years later, the killer strikes again, and Zhang, now a factory security guard, is determined to redeem himself and solve the case on his own. Theatre 1, HKCEC
15:00 Thread of lies
(South Korea) 117mins. Drama. CJ Entertainment. Dir: Lee Han. Key cast: Kim Hee-ae, Ko A-sung, Kim You-jung, Kim Hyang-gi, Yoo Ah-in. Chun-ji is a composed middle-school girl who is always prepared for tomorrow. Her apathetic sister Man-ji does everything halfheartedly. One afternoon, Chun-ji, an avid knitter, hangs herself with her own red yarn. Because of Chun-ji’s unexpected suicide, her mother, Hyun-suk, and Man-ji move to an apartment complex slated
for redevelopment. Man-ji searches for answers to Chun-ji’s death. agnes b. CINEMA – Hong Kong Arts Centre
The Lion Men
(Singapore) 122mins. Action/adventure, Comedy. mm2 Entertainment. Dir: Jack Neo. Key cast: Tosh Zhang, Wang Weiliang, Eva Cheng, Chen Tianwen. Follows the rivalry between two lion dance troupes. Shi Shen is the top performer in the Tiger Crane Lion Dance Association, but feels restricted by Master He’s traditional mindset. He decides to take a group of disciples and forms his own lion dance troupe, which fuses hip hop with lion dance movements. A major lion dance competition is coming up and Mikey is groomed to be Shi Shen’s successor. However, he has a fear of heights. The situation worsens when both Mikey and Shi Shen fall for Xiaoyu. Meeting Room N201A, HKCEC
16:00 Be My Baby
(Japan) 138mins. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: One Hitoshi. Key cast: Niikura Kenta, Wakai Naoko, Shibata Chihiro, Goto Yumi. Meeting Room N211-N212, HKCEC
Dark Wedding 3D
(China) 90mins. Horror/ suspense. Film Asia Entertainment Group Company. Dir: Bosco Lam. Key cast: Jordan Chan, Theresa Fu, Miki Lee, Pat Ha, Julia Jiang, Tavani Hu. A car accident has taken the life of Li Xianer, the fiancee of Ling Zhijie. Zhijie can’t help regarding himself as an inauspicious guy. A college girl named He Xiaoling comes back from the US to research the ancient custom called “Marriage with the Dead”. When strange things begin happening, Xiaoling starts to suspect that Li Xianer isn’t dead. A dangerous scheme is about to break loose. The final destination for Ling Zhijie is a well-
plotted and vicious dark wedding.
reasons far more complex than just farm work.
Theatre 2, HKCEC
Meeting Room N209-N210, HKCEC
(China) 86mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Wang Haolin. Meeting Room N101B, HKCEC
Next Station I Love U
(China) 91mins. Romance. The Media Evangelism. Dir: Terry Lee. Key cast: Yang Ziyen, Steven Ma, Makiyo Lin, Liuxin. A sweet couple living a life of hope are blighted when the wife, Zi Xuan, is diagnosed with cancer and could die at any time. Facing the reality of a lifethreatening disease, and based on their religious beliefs, they choose a positive way to live. Meeting Room N109-N110, HKCEC
(Taiwan) 90mins. Comedy. mm2 Entertainment. Dir: Law Gwo Yun. Key cast: Shiou, Mimi Chu, Mini Chai, Bright Pu, Isaac Dang, Henry Thia. De Ming is a dentist who hates his job, as he was forced into it by his mother. After attending a motivation workshop, De Ming takes a leap of faith and quits to become an actor. Fearing objections from his mother, De Ming tries to hide his new life. But he is caught and has to deal with her disappointment. Eventually she realises that she needs to let her son live his life. Gaining new resolve, De Ming successfully auditions for the lead role in a play. Meeting Room N111-N112, HKCEC
16:15 Open Windows
(Spain) 90mins. Wild Bunch. Dir: Nacho Vigalondo. Key cast: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell. Nick’s a lucky guy – he’s having dinner with Jill Goddard, the hottest actress on Earth. Then a guy named Chord calls: dinner’s been cancelled. And it’s Jill’s fault. But Chord’s got something better in mind. Meeting Room N101A, HKCEC
16:30 Boonie Bears: To the Rescue!
(US) 76mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Josephine Decker. Key cast: Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstret, Kristin Slaysman, Geoff Marslett. A man finds himself a job on a farm in the wilds of Kentucky, only to learn he was perhaps hired for
agnes b. CINEMA! Hong Kong Arts Centre
17:30 Those Gathered
Meeting Room N102-N103, HKCEC By invitation only
(Japan) 62mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Imaoka Shinji. Key cast: Niyama Shiho, Matsunaga Yuki, Suzuki Shoichiro, Shigeta Hiroyuki, Abe Junya.
Meeting Room N201A, HKCEC
(China) 90mins. Action/ adventure, animation, children’s. All Rights Entertainment. Dir: Ding Liang.
(South Korea) 144mins. Drama. CinemaDAL. Dir: Leesong Hee-il. Key cast: Kwak Si-yang, Lee Jae-joon. Three teenage boys who were once close friends grow apart when they go to high school: Yong-ju hides his true sexual identity; Gi-woong becomes the leader of the school gang; and Gi-taek turns into an obsessive comic-book fan. Tired of the constant malicious bullying by Gi-woong’s gang, Gi-taek betrays them by disclosing that Yong-ju has been in love with Gi-woong for years. Meeting Room N104-N105, HKCEC
18:00 The Transcend
(Malaysia) 116mins. Horror/suspense. mm2 Entertainment. Dir: Ryon Lee, James Wong. Key cast: Mindee Ong, Teddy Chin, James Wong. Meeting Room N111-N112, HKCEC
(Italy, Syria) 95mins. Drama. European Film Promotion (representing Rai Trade). Dir: Alessio Cremonini. Key cast: Dana Keilani, Sara El Debuch, Wasim Abo Azan. Meeting Room N101A, HKCEC
Theatre 1, HKCEC
(Hong Kong) 105mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Amos Why. Key cast: Moses Chan, Meng Ting Yi, Susan Shaw, Lam Tsz Chung, Davil Siu, Candy Cheung, Shandy Gun, Crystal Cheung. Theatre 1, HKCEC
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(Taiwan) 185mins. Drama. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Umin Boya. Key cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Takao Osawa, Togo Igawa, Maki Sakai. In the 1920s, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, a multiethnic baseball team endeavoured to make its way to Japan’s high school baseball championship.
Dot 2 Dot Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
Romance. HKIFF Industry Screenings @ Filmart. Dir: Lai ChunYu. Key cast: Chen Bo-Lin, Chen Yi-Han, Kuo Shu-Yau, Chiang Kang-Che. Legend has it that if a man and a woman meet on the night when Lake Chrysanthemum is dried up, they will fall in love and stay together forever. So when the beauty queen of the campus chances upon the Otaku king at the lake on just such a night, everybody starts wondering if the legend will hold true.
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March 26, 2014 Screen International at Filmart 23 n