The annual and highly anticipated Hong Kong International Film Festival finally returns to the city for its 45th edition (from now until 12 April). Following last year’s cancellation due to the limitations of social distancing during the covid-19 outbreak, the festival will be screening over 200 films in various locations as well as through online platforms. If you’re at a loss for what to watch, here are a few highly anticipated Chinese film premieres to catch in the next two weeks:
Where the wind blows (2021)
Directed by Philip Yung and starring Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Du Juan, this film is an ambitious genre-bending detective story that marks the first onscreen pairing of superstars Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Chiu-wai. The plot follows the friendship and rivalry of two Hong Kong detectives in a series of thrilling and action-packed scenes.
Septet: The story of Hong Kong (2021)
One for cinematography fans to not miss is renowned local director Johnnie To’s highly anticipated anthology series directed by six veteran Hong Kong filmmakers: Sammo Hung, Ringo Lam, Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Lam Tsui Hark and To himself. Shot entirely on 35mm film, each one of the short films touches on a nostalgic and moving story set across different time periods, with every one acting as an ode to the city.
New director Ricky Ko delves into the underbelly of some more serious topics such as loneliness and depression in old age, albeit with a touch of dark humour. Starring Patrick Tse, Petrina Fung, Lam Suet and Chung Suet-ying, the story follows a retired assassin who earns his living fulfilling morally-questionable tasks when commissioned a job by a young girl abandoned by her family.
First debuting at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jun Li’s moving motion picture makes its local premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The story chronicles and sheds light on the city’s homeless population, while destigmatising of Hong Kong’s stereotype and assumptions of the homeless. The drama stars such talents as Francis Ng, Tse Kwan-ho, Loletta Lee and Cecilia Choi.
The Day is Over (2021)
Film enthusiasts and avid movie goers are sure to appreciate the naturalistic cinematography of Qi Rui’s directorial debut of The Day is Over. After a series of devastating events, a young girl and her friend sets out from the quiet rural residence in search of her father. Starring Li Yingchun, Yu Ying, Kong Jingyao, Chen Huihui, this dramatic coming-of-age story is permeated with a poetic undertone and heart-warming tenderness that is sure to move its audience.