Hong Kong anniversary film festival kicks off in Beijing

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 4, 2022
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A Hong Kong film festival to mark the 25th anniversary of the city's return to its motherland opened in Beijing on Friday.

Officials, organizers, and guests pose for a group photo at the opening of the Hong Kong Thematic Film Festival to mark the Hong Kong's return to its motherland in Beijing, July 29, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Broadway Cinematheque MOMA]

Broadway Cinematheque MOMA in Beijing and the Hong Kong government's Beijing office joined hands again to launch the Hong Kong Thematic Film Festival to mark the Hong Kong's return to its motherland from July 29 to Aug. 7, screening seven Hong Kong classics to celebrate the anniversary. All these films will have their newly restored versions presented in Beijing.

The films being shown in two cinemas across Beijing are Bruce Lee's "The Way of the Dragon" (1972), John Woo's "Last Hurrah for Chivalry" (1979), Jackie Chan's "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose" (1989), Mabel Cheung's "An Autumn's Tale" (1987), Clifton Ko's "All's Well, Ends Well" (1992), Johnnie To's "Running Out of Time" (1999) and Daniel Lee's "Moonlight Express" (1999). These films star mainland audiences' favorite Hong Kong icons, including Bruce Lee, Stephen Chow, Andy Lau, Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Chow Yun-Fat, and Leslie Cheung. Several of them are making their debuts in mainland theaters. 

Pamela Lam, the deputy director of the HKSAR Beijing Office, said the event aims to bring classic films to Beijing's citizens while attracting younger audiences so that Hong Kong's movies and culture can be passed down to future generations.

Lam also noted that ever since Hong Kong's return 25 years ago, the mainland and the special administrative region have had closer and more frequent communications, exchanges, and collaborations. Various policies and measures issued by the central government have supported mainland-Hong Kong co-productions and helped the two sides complement each other with their advantages and achieve mutual success.

"You may have seen some quite popular co-productions in recent years such as 'Leap,' 'Raging Fire,' and 'The Battle at Lake Changjin.' This kind of integration is a trend. There are many excellent filmmaking talents in Hong Kong. Many of them have been pursuing new development and careers for a long time on the mainland," she said. 

The festival opened on Friday night with "The Way of the Dragon," a film that happens to mark its 50th anniversary this year. L'Immagine Ritrovata Asia, a highly specialized film restoration laboratory, helmed the 4K high-definition restoration of the film. Bede Cheng, managing director of L'Immagine Ritrovata Asia, met the audience via an online link after the film to share insights on restoring the celluloid footage.

A montage of posters of the classic Hong Kong movies screened in Guangdong province. [Image courtesy of Broadway Cinematheque MOMA]

Organizers arranged two other post-screening events. On July 31, renowned director and scriptwriter Mabel Cheung appeared via video link after her film, "An Autumn's Tale." On Aug. 6, after the screening of "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose," award-winning Hong Kong cinematographer Arthur Wong will appear in person to share behind-the-scenes stories.

As with previous years, after opening in Beijing, the festival will tour other cities around China.

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