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16 items from 2017


Pimpaka Towira Appointed Program Director at Singapore Festival

6 August 2017 10:01 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Well-known Thai director and producer, Pimpaka Towira has been appointed as program director of the Singapore International Film Festival. She replaces Zhang Wenjie, who stepped down at the end of last year.

As well as making films “Mae Nak” and “One Night Husband,” Towira has previous experience of organizing film festivals. She was program director at the Bangkok International Film Festival in 2001, 2008 and 2009, and program director at the Bangkok Asean festival from 2015 to 2017. Towira begins operation in Singapore immediately ahead of a 28th edition that kicks off in late November (Nov. 23 – Dec. 3, 2017).

“My role is to develop the program and to demonstrate the festival’s commitment to South East Asia,” Towira told Variety. “I’ve always wanted to contribute as both a film maker and a festival organizer.” Towira expects to be involved across the range of the festival’s strands. These include the Silver Screen Awards competition, the Se Asian Film Lab, the »

- Patrick Frater

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Interview with Yuhang Ho: We wanted the fights to be realistic and nothing too flashy

11 July 2017 12:45 PM, PDT | AsianMoviePulse | See recent AsianMoviePulse news »

Yuhang Ho was trained as an engineer but went into film-making due to his love for vintage films. He began his career by shooting commercials in the mid 1990’s. In 2000, he co-directed a Malaysian documentary “Semangat Insan: Masters of Tradition” highlighting the need to preserve Malaysia’s traditional art forms. He then made his feature film directorial debut in the 2003 film “Min”.He went to receive international recognition for his film “Rain Dogs”, won the New Talent Award at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival 2006 and also named best director at the Festival of the Three Continents in 2006.

His 2009 revenge drama “At The End of Daybreak” revived the career of the veteran actress Kara Hui, who was an action star of the Shaw Brothers era. “Daybreak” earned her seven best actress awards. She has since gone on to star in “Wu Xia,” “Rigor Mortis,” and “The Midnight After.”

On the »

- Panos Kotzathanasis

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“Mrs K” proves that Kara Hui still got it

21 June 2017 10:53 AM, PDT | AsianMoviePulse | See recent AsianMoviePulse news »

Yuhang Ho had a very difficult task in his hands from the beginning:  to shoot an action martial arts film where all of his protagonists are (almost) over 50. The result, however, was more than impressive, as he worked over the particular reef by limiting the action and adding many thriller elements.

Mrs K” will screen at Art Film Fest Kosice, that will be on June 16-24

Mrs K is a housewife, happily married with a gynecologist, and mother to a teenage girl who is also a martial artist. However, underneath the calm, happy and motherly figure resides something else, as Mrs K used to be part of a crime ring. As her former comrades are being killed one by one, a rather unpleasant former police officer visits her house and confronts her about the past. Furthermore, another man, who seems to know her quite well, resurfaces, and along with his henchman, »

- Panos Kotzathanasis

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Okinawa 2017 Interview: Fruit Chan on Balancing Independent and Commercial Filmmaking

30 May 2017 6:00 PM, PDT | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

Last month, Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan served as the head of the Creators Factory jury at the 9th Okinawa International Movie Festival on the picturesque Japanese island. Chan had recently unveiled a new restoration of his groundbreaking 1997 indie Made in Hong Kong in his home town, and is now deep in post-production on the red-blooded action flick Invincible Dragon, staring Max Zhang (Ip Man 3, Spl 2) and former Ufc champion Anderson Silva. ScreenAnarchy was in attendance at Okinawa, where South Korean correspondent Pierce Conran and I sat down with Chan for a wide-ranging conversation about his career, his thoughts on the festival and the struggles of working in both the commercial and independent space.    Fruit Chan: Everybody in the industry tells...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »

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Film Acquisition Rundown: Focus Buys ‘The Little Stranger,’ Oscilloscope Picks Up ‘Brimstone & Glory’ and More

26 May 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to “The Little Stranger,” excluding the U.K., France and Switzerland, where it will be distributed by Pathé. Academy Award nominee Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) will direct the film, a chilling ghost story, which will begin production in the U.K. this summer for release in 2018. “The Little Stranger” will star Academy Award nominee Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter. Lucinda Coxon, who wrote the screenplay adaptation of Focus’ “The Danish Girl,” has adapted “The Little Stranger” from Sarah Waters’ acclaimed 2009 novel of the same name.

In a remote English village after the close of World War II, a local practitioner, Dr. Faraday (Gleeson), is called to the »

- Graham Winfrey

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'Ip Man' spin-off heading to UK, North America

20 May 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Well Go USA also scores key deals for Invincible Dragon.

Well Go USA has swooped on North American and UK rights to two Pegasus Motion Pictures’ titles - Ip Man: Cheung Tin Chi, a spin-off of the blockbuster Ip Man series, and Fruit Chan’s action drama Invincible Dragon.

Ip Man: Cheung Tin Chi, which is currently in pre-production, also went to Ksm for Germany, Kidarient for South Korea, and Conquest Film for Latin America.

Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, the $28m film follows the character played by Zhang Jin in the Ip Man martial arts series, and also stars Dave Bautista, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Jaa.

Well Go USA also took Australia and New Zealand rights to Invincible Dragon, which also stars Zhang along with Anderson Silva, Stephy Tang and Kevin Cheng.

Pegasus also sold the film to Ksm for Germany, Kidarient for South Korea, and Conquest Film for Latin America.

Currently in post-production »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Handover Hangover: Hong Kong’s Film Industry Faces an Uncertain Future

17 May 2017 9:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When China took over Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain in 1997, the former British colony was promised “50 years unchanged” under the framework of “one country, two systems.”

Twenty years on, a lot has changed, including Hong Kong cinema.

At the turn of the 20th anniversary of the handover, Hong Kong cinema is at a crossroad. Filmmakers are facing questions concerning the future of the city’s film industry, which was once known to the world as “Hollywood East.”

“We must think about how Hong Kong cinema should position itself in order to find our way to the future,” says Wong Chun, the 28-year-old director of Hong Kong drama “Mad World,” which won the new director prize at last year’s Golden Horse Film awards in Taiwan and Hong Kong Film Awards this year. “What is our strength, as compared to films from other Asian countries? It’s time to reflect on this. »

- Vivienne Chow

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‘Close-Knit’ Wins Top Prize at Udine Far East Fest

30 April 2017 3:30 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome — Japanese director Ogigami Naoko’s tender drama “Close-Knit” in which a transgender woman becomes a mother figure to a young girl won the Audience Award, the top prize, at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, which is Europe’s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema.

South Korean director Choi Kook-hee’s offbeat bowling thriller “Split” came in second in the audience vote at the nine-day fest which wrapped its 19th edition April 29.

Prior to scooping top Udine honors “Close Knit” had premiered in February in the Panorama section of Berlin fest where Variety critic Guy Lodge praised the pic as a “sweet-souled celebration of alternative family structures,” noting that it “further demonstrates the growing prominence and broader acceptance of transgender narratives in the arthouse.” “Knit” also scooped Udine’s Black Dragon Award decided by special pass holders.

“Split,” in which a washed-up former bowling champ »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Film Review: ‘Mrs K’

20 April 2017 11:44 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Doing for Hong Kong screen veteran Kara Wai roughly what Tarantino did for Pam Grier in “Jackie Brown” (albeit with a lot less talking), Malaysian writer-director Ho Yuhang’s “Mrs K” is a stylish action movie whose light touch persuades us to accept still-lethal potential of a nearly 60-year-old heroine. Equal parts “Taken”-style thriller and old-school marital-arts/triad-meller homage, it’s expertly crafted good fun that should appeal to genre fans across many borders.

Wai (Aka Kara Hui and Wai Ying Hung) was still a teenager when she found fame via a slew of Shaw Brothers kung-fu epics starting in 1976. Since then she’s gone on to play a wide range of roles on the big and small screens, including an award-winning turn as an alcoholic divorcée in Ho’s own 2009 “At the End of Daybreak.” As the titular figure here, she gets to straddle both a dignified latter-day »

- Dennis Harvey

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Udine’s Far East Fest to Fete Chinese Helmer Feng Xiaogang, Open With Japan’s ‘Survival Family’

13 April 2017 5:40 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome – Japanese director Shinobu Yagouchi’s road movie “Survival Family,” about a Japanese family’s efforts to stay alive amid a global blackout, will open the upcoming 19th edition of the Far East Festival in Udine, Italy, Europe’s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema. The film will be shown on April 21.

Chinese helmer Feng Xiaogang (pictured), who is known as “China’s Spielberg,” will be honored at the Udine fest, which will screen his latest film, “I Am Not Madame Bovary.”

“Survival Family,” which bowed recently at the Macao fest, is among 25 European premieres unspooling in Udine.

The festival has also secured Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau’s “Shock Wave” as its closer on April 29, shortly after the hotly anticipated actioner’s Asian release, on April 20, a clear indication of how well-integrated this event is within Asia’s film scene.

The lineup boasts four world premieres, including »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)

20 March 2017 8:00 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The latest installment in the filmmaker's series of journal-films combining iPhone footage and sounds and images from movies. A diary penned with cinema.Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)feat. additional footage from Masha Tupitsyn and Isiah MedinaMy journal-film series (of which this is the third installment) came to be as a means of resolving the points of convergence and departure amongst the environments I occupy and those which I encounter in cinema. I like to view these films as a method of managing the images that take up my thoughts and memories into a new continuity, one in which the distinction between images seen on-screen and those personally experienced is no longer absolute.    In dissolving this partition, these films provide a vector for the animation conceptual concerns through cinema - montage fulfilling that which language can only formally describe and vice versa. The following essay outlines some of the concerns this film attempts »

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HKIFF Lineup: Giddens Ko’s ‘Monsters’ Set as Opening Film

14 March 2017 5:43 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Taiwan writer and director Giddens Ko’s thriller “mon mon mon Monsters” has been set as the closing movie of the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film will play on April 25.

Before that some 230 titles from 65 territories will be screened, including 69 world-, international- and Asian- premieres. The lineup was announced today, during the FilMart market that is currently being held in Hong Kong.

“Mon mon on Monsters” is the second film as director for prolific novelist Ko who previously made 2011 pan-Asian hit “You Are the Apple of My Eye,” and latterly scripted “The Tenants Downstairs.”

The festival announced a spotlight on Taiwan and is paying a 10th anniversary tribute to the late Edward Yang. Restored versions of some of Yang’s best known titles, including “Taipei Story” and “A Brighter Summer Day,” will be on show.

Hkiff is also presenting a section dedicating to the 20th anniversary of »

- Vivienne Chow

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Hkiff to celebrate 20 years of post-handover Hong Kong cinema

14 March 2017 3:49 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Event will programme a section of Hong Kong films from the last 20 years, including Infernal Affairs, Election and Shaolin Soccer.

This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hkiff) will mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China with a special focus on major Hong Kong movies of the past 20 years.

The section, ‘Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema’, kicks off with films such as Fruit Chan’s Made In Hong Kong and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert from the period immediately after the handover, when local cinema was under pressure with box office declining and the mainland market starting to grow.

It then moves on to landmark titles such as Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (2001), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs [pictured] (2002) and Johnnie To’s Election (2005), which all defined Hong Kong cinema in their own way.

The series of 20 titles ends with Pang Ho-cheung’s Love In A Puff »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Hong Kong Film Festival to mark 20th anniversary of UK handover

14 March 2017 3:49 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Event will programme a section of Hong Kong films from the last 20 years, including Infernal Affairs, Election and Shaolin Soccer.

This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hkiff) will mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China with a special focus on major Hong Kong movies of the past 20 years.

The section, ‘Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema’, kicks off with films such as Fruit Chan’s Made In Hong Kong and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert from the period immediately after the handover, when local cinema was under pressure with box office declining and the mainland market starting to grow.

It then moves on to landmark titles such as Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (2001), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs [pictured] (2002) and Johnnie To’s Election (2005), which all defined Hong Kong cinema in their own way.

The series of 20 titles ends with Pang Ho-cheung’s Love In A Puff »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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The 24 hottest projects at this year's Hong Kong Filmart

13 March 2017 3:24 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

There is a thrilling selection of Chinese-language titles at Filmart this year. Liz Shackleton picks out some of the most promising.

With very few Hong Kong or mainland Chinese sellers making the journey to this year’s European Film Market in Berlin, Filmart offers a chance for buyers to catch up with the Chinese-language titles that will be rolled out in the region for the rest of the year.

After serving up the biggest film of the Chinese New Year holiday — Kung Fu Yoga, starring Jackie Chan and directed by Stanley Tong — China’s Sparkle Roll Media has launched a Hong Kong-based sales arm that is selling Ding Sheng’s reboot of the A Better Tomorrow series.

Other high-profile action titles new to market include Distribution Workshop’s Extraordinary Mission, from the creative teams behind the Infernal Affairs and Overheard series, and Huayi Brothers’ crime drama Explosion, starring Duan Yihong.

Previously announced »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Ufc Star Anderson Silva Heads Cast of Fruit Chan’s ‘Made in Kowloon’

19 January 2017 12:07 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Mixed martial arts star, Anderson Silva (aka The Spider) will face off against Chinese action star Max Zhang and Chinese-American actress JuJu Chan in “Made In Kowloon.”

The $20 million action film is now in production with Fruit Chan directing. The picture is backed by Pegasus Motion Pictures, the Wong Pak-ming-headed company that recent sold a 29.9% stake to Chinese metals and media investment company Anhui Xinke.

The film sees a detective on the trail of a serial killer, who may have abducted the cop’s niece. The film also stars Stephy Tang, Kevin Cheng and Sumyau Liu. Stephen Tung (“Downtown Torpedoes,” “Accidental Spy”) heads the action choreography unit.

Da Silva is a Brazilian fighter and former Ufc middleweight champion, who holds the longest title streak in Ufc history. His streak ended in 2013 after 2,457 days, with 16 consecutive wins and 10 title defenses. Zhang (aka Zhang Jin) has risen from being a stunt double »

- Patrick Frater

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16 items from 2017


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