The 16th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum announces new projects; Three new countries to be represented for the first time this year

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 5 February 2018 - The 16th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) announced its lineup of 25 film projects to be presented from 19 to 21 March 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The projects were selected out of more than 360 submissions from 41 countries and regions, including Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States of America and Vietnam.


HAF is one of the most prominent film-financing platforms in Asia and provides a forum to connect filmmakers and their new projects with internationally established film financiers, producers, bankers, distributors, buyers and funders for potential co-production ventures. The successful shortlisted projects come from a richly diverse field of filmmakers -- young and established alike -- seeking partners and funding. This year's selections also include projects from three countries that will be represented for the first time at HAF: Cambodia, Mongolia and Russia.


"As we welcome projects from all over Asia and other parts of the world, we are particularly pleased to see filmmakers from three countries new to the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum find a showcase for their works," said Jacob WONG, Curator of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and Director of the HAF. "In reviewing hundreds of submissions, it was encouraging to see a talented group of directors seeking to tell their stories in the universal language of film."


Five Hong Kong projects to be presented


Five projects from Hong Kong are among this year's short list: Deadline, a suspense-drama about a group of seven secondary-school students facing exam pressures and issuing a suicide pact, from director Kiwi CHOW. CHOW's first feature film, A Complicated Story (2013), which was presented by the powerhouse team of producers Johnnie TO and Bill KONG, was selected for the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival. CHOW also directed the "Self-immolator" segment of Ten Years (2015), which won Best Film at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards.


Director CHAN Ying-wai 's coming-of-age drama I Promised follows a teenage boy as he experiences desires and responsibilities, sweetness and cruelty in the aftermath of a tragic event; YUEN Han-yan 's documentary Love in the Valley of Daughters explores the love story and cultural differences between a city woman and a man from a matriarchal society in China's Yunnan Province; film-industry veteran O Sing-pui's romantic comedy-drama Sex is Guilt looks at death and sex, and asks which of the two is the greatest fear? The comedy While You Were Working from director LEUNG Ming-kai looks at a retired Hong Kong singer and her American neighbor who help a Filipino worker prepare for a singing competition.


Three countries to be represented at HAF for the first time


HAF is proud to announce four film projects from Cambodia, Mongolia and Russia -- three countries that will be represented at the event for the first time. From Cambodia, Jake WACHTEL's suspense-drama In the Next Life follows a young teenage girl living in Phnom Penh's slums who investigates a boy's past-life visions and uncovers a sinister conspiracy of literal, scientific reincarnation. In Twist of Fate, director Baasanjargal Orgodol of Mongolia seeks to genuinely portray the "true reality" of nomadic Mongols in his drama about a woman who marries twin brothers, and whose unconventional life leads to conflict and death.


Two projects from Russia look at love, marriage and betrayal. Set in Kyrgyzstan, Far Frontiers from director Maxim DASHKIN explores the complicated relationship between faith and fidelity in his drama about the wife of a military commander who begins an affair with another officer. Tajikistan-born filmmaker Nigina SAYFULLAEVA's Revnost examines the motivations of a woman who suspects her husband of having an affair and exacts revenge by entering sexual relationships with other men.


New projects from award-winning filmmakers and three Indonesian directors


Among this year's short list are five established and award-winning directors presenting their latest projects. In mainland Chinese filmmaker Emily TANG's A Man Used to Stay at My Room, a young disabled woman seeking to break away from a loveless marriage finds fame as a poet. TANG's Perfect Life (2008) won the Tigers & Dragons Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Golden Digital Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Mainland director LIU Jian's third animated feature, following Piercing (2010) and Have a Nice Day (2017), is Art College, a bitter-sweet look at youth, love and school life of two art students in the 1990s.


The Big Picture , the new project from E J-yong -- the critically acclaimed South Korean director of Bacchus Lady (2016), Actresses (2009) and Scandal (2003) -- follows a lawyer facing a mid-life crisis and who accidentally kills a man and steals his identity to realize his failed dream to become a photographer. Naive Melody from Taiwan-based director Arvin CHEN, whose feature debut Au Revoir Taipei (2010) won the Asian Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival, is about an introverted young man who visits a brothel to lose his virginity, but instead falls into a complicated relationship with the brothel's much older mama-san. In A Mountain Splits, Japanese director TOMINA Tetsuya explores the conflict and dilemma between "the visible" and "the invisible," which live in the same world yet are unable to intersect.


A trio of projects from Indonesia include Tale of the Land from Loeloe HENDRA, about indigenous populations facing threats to their way of life; Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, from Edwin , which takes aim at a society ruled by machismo and patriarchy; and Eddie CAHYONO's IMAH, which follows a fisherman searching for his wife's killer.


Awards and special prizes


The 16th HAF is proud to present a number of awards and cash prizes from several returning sponsors, including mm2 Asia Limited, which will be back for a second year after its inaugural prize in 2017. The award seeks to encourage and support Chinese-language film projects with a cash prize of HK$100,000.


Other returning award sponsors include the Wouter Barendrecht Film Foundation; China Film Foundation -- Wutianming Fund For Young Talents; White Light Studio; G2D Co. Ltd.; and the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) of the BiFan Industry Gathering.

Shortlisted Projects for the Work-in-Progress Lab

The 16th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) unveiled the 10 shortlisted projects for the Work-in-Progress Lab (WIP Lab), an initiative to help filmmakers secure post-production funds, sales agents and film festival support. The event will take place on 19 March 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of HAF.


HAF is one of Asia's most important film-financing forums, providing a platform for projects in the pre-production or development stages. The WIP Lab further extends the services of HAF by offering a platform for late-stage projects seeking closing funds, post-production partners, distributors, sales agents, festivals and other film-industry services.


The 10 shortlisted projects, which were chosen from 141 WIP Lab submissions, are required to have completed or nearly completed shooting or production. This year's projects include five films from Asia and five from diverse countries around the world.


Shortlisted Projects by Established and New Filmmakers

From Hong Kong, award-winning independent filmmaker Fruit CHAN (Made in Hong Kong, 1997; The Longest Summer, 1998; Little Cheung, 1999) serves as producer of director Oliver CHAN Siu-kuen's feature film debut, Still Human, about a paralyzed man and his Filipina domestic worker who strive to overcome their cultural differences and personal hardships.


Two dramas from mainland China explore families in conflict. Director HUANG Zi's first feature, From Black and White to Shades of Grey, which was previously selected at HAF 2014, looks at the agonizing trauma placed on a family when the father is diagnosed with cancer. In ZHAI Yixiang's Mosaic Portrait, a journalist investigates the rape of a teenage girl in a remote village. The project won the Million-Dollar Grand Prize of Taipei Golden Horse Film Project Promotion in 2016.


Three Russian films take on social issues confronting the lives of ordinary people. In director Sergey DVORTSEVOY's The Little One, an illegal immigrant woman from Kyrgyzstan working in Moscow attempts to find her abandoned baby. In The Pencil by Natalya NAZAROVA, a teacher defends her students against a gang leader. Co-directors Natalya MERKULOVA and Alexey CHUPOV offer a parable about a man who attempts to deceive death by changing his sex in The Man Who Surprised Everyone, a co-production with France and Estonia.


Two feature debuts by Asian filmmakers are also on the WIP Lab short list. Japanese director SAKAHARA Atsushi's documentary, AGANAI - The Atonement , looks at his personal experience as a victim of the sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, which killed 13 people, injured nearly 6,000 and made headlines around the world. Bhutanese director Tashi GYELTSHEN describes The Red Phallus as "about the paradox of being a human".


Bulgarian director Svetla TSOTSORKOVA's drama Sister tells "the story of how one girl becomes a woman," and how she learns that if one wants to stay human, sacrifices must be made. From Panama, Félix GUARDIA's animated feature The Sorcerer is a wild journey through the absurd and surrealist universe of Panamanian artist Julio Zachrisson.


Post-Production Awards

In addition to meetings with potential partners and investors during HAF, WIP Lab shortlisted projects are also entitled to compete for three post-production awards: the Wanda WIP Lab Award presented by Wanda Media Co. Ltd., offering a cash price of HK$100,000 (approx. US$12,800) to encourage the development of outstanding cinema; the G2D Post-Production Award and the White Light Post-Production Award each offering in-kind post-production services that is worth US$15,000 respectively (approx. HK$117,300 each).


The "HAF Goes to Cannes" Program

For the second consecutive year, HAF will collaborate with Marché du Film, Festival de Cannes, to present an important program offering market screening and pitch opportunities for up to five projects at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May. "HAF Goes to Cannes" presents opportunities for filmmakers to look for sales agents, distributors and film festivals. Priority will be given to WIP Lab projects. Beijing Nicefilm Technology Co.,Ltd., a TV and film production company in China, will provide a traveling subsidy of HK$100,000 in total to the projects selected for "HAF Goes to Cannes".


"The increase in applications this year and the 10 selected shortlisted film projects reflect the growing interest by filmmakers in Asia and from around the world in the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum's Work-in-Progress Lab," said Mr. Jacob WONG, Curator of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and Director of the HAF. "These exceptional projects represent a wide variety of cultures, languages and societies, and HAF is proud to offer a platform for these filmmakers to present their works to film-industry professsionals," WONG said. "In addition, we look forward to working again with Marché du Film and offering a showcase for these independent filmmakers at Cannes this May."


Guest and media accreditation for HAF

Investors, financiers and other film-industry guests are now able to register for HAF at and schedule individual meetings with filmmakers to discuss their projects. Guests will be given access to HAF, in addition to joining our official networking events, screenings, seminars or other activities.


Registration for the event among members of the media began on 22 January, with further details here:


A complete list of the selected WIP Lab projects for the 16th HAF can be found in Appendix. For more information about HAF, please visit the official website at and the HAF Facebook page at .


About Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF)

The Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) is widely recognized as an established film financing platform in Asia. HAF brings Asian filmmakers with upcoming film projects to Hong Kong for co-production ventures with top film financiers, producers, bankers, distributors and buyers. Attracting more than 1,000 filmmakers and financiers from at least 35 countries and regions, around 25 to 30 projects are selected annually to participate in the three-day event. HAF has the added advantage of being held in conjunction with Hong Kong Filmart, Asia's largest film market which attracts over 8,000 professionals.


HAF has partnered with international organisations to provide a range of opportunities to participants. Partners include iQIYI (China), Fox International Productions (Greater China) (US), Cinemart (the Netherlands), Asian Project Market (South Korea), Golden Horse Film Project Promotion (Taiwan), New Cinema Network (Italy) and others. Cash and in-kind awards to the value of around US$150,000 are made with support from Create Hong Kong and Film Development Fund among others.


Past participants include China's JIA Jiangke, JIANG Wen, LU Chuan and NING Hao; Hong Kong's Peter CHAN, Stanley KWAN, Ann HUI, Fruit CHAN and PANG Ho-cheung; Taiwan's TSAI Ming-Liang, WEI Te-Sheng, CHUNG Mong-Hong and Leon DAI; Japan's KORE-EDA Hirokazu, KUROSAWA Kiyoshi, KAWASE Naomi and IWAI Shunji; South Korea's PARK Chan-wook, KIM Jee-woon, BONG Joon-ho and IM Sang-soo; as well as Thailand's Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, Ekachai UEKRONGTHAM, Nonzee NIMIBUTR and Pen-ek RATANARUANG.


About The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited (HKIFFS/Society) is a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organisation dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the art and culture of film.


The Society is committed to making world cinema accessible and affordable to the public. It organizes the annual flagship the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong -- Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in March and April. Another annual highlight is the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) held every August. The repertory HKIFF Cine Fan Programme was launched in April 2013 with the aim to enrich and deepen the experience of Hong Kong moviegoers through a monthly programme of contemporary, retrospective and thematic showcases.


Through its annual programmes, the Society promotes international appreciation of Asian, Hong Kong and Chinese film culture; introduces world cinema to Hong Kong audiences; and continues to underline Hong Kong's key position in the international film community.


HKIFFS's dedication to quality and intelligent programming, its devotion to the discovery of new areas of filmmaking in Asia and China, its exceptional work for Hong Kong cinema, seminars and acclaimed publications, gives it a unique and respected international reputation that helps promote Hong Kong cinema at home and abroad.


The 16th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum Shortlisted Projects


1. Art College 上大學

China 中國

Director 導演LIU Jian 劉健

Producer 監製YANG Cheng 楊城

Production Company 製作公司Nezha Bros. Pictures 北京哪吒兄弟影業, Lightriver Culture & Media 映川文化傳媒


2. The Big Picture

South Korea 南韓

Director 導演E J-yong 李在容

Producer 監製Jason CHAE 蔡熙承, BAE Ja-hee 裴子嬉 (Associate Producer )

Production Company 製作公司Mirovision


3. Deadline 自殺通告

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演Kiwi CHOW 周冠威

Producer 監製Jacqueline LIU 廖婉虹, Kiwi CHOW 周冠威

Production Company 製作公司Photon Films (HK) Limited光籽電影有限公司


4. A Family with Troubles 難念的經

China 中國

Director 導演YAN Xiaolin 閆嘯林

Producer 監製YANG Cheng 楊城

Production Company 製作公司 Nezha Bros. Pictures 北京哪吒兄弟影業, Lightriver Culture & Media 映川文化傳媒


5. Far Frontiers

Russia 俄羅斯

Director 導演Maxim DASHKIN

Producer 監製Anna von DZIEMBOWSKA, Denis KOVALEVSKIY, Ilann GIRARD (Co-producer 聯合監製)

Production Company 製作公司Victoria Films


6. I Promised 逆風少年

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演CHAN Ying-wai 陳英尉

Producer 監製Jessinta LIU Fung-ping 廖鳳平

Production Company 製作公司At Odds Workshop 頓點之工作室


7. IMAH (working title)

Indonesia 印尼, France法國

Director 導演Eddie CAHYONO

Producer 監製Ifa ISFANSYAH, Isabelle GLACHANT

Production Company 製作公司Fourcolours Films, Shasha & Co Production


8. In the Next Life

Cambodia 柬埔寨

Director 導演Jake WACHTEL

Producer 監製Valerie STEINBERG

Production Company 製作公司Valerie Steinberg Productions

9. Let Me Rest in Peace

Japan 日本

Director 導演YAMANAKA Yoko 山中瑤子        

Producer 監製MIZOGUCHI Moeko 溝口萌子

Production Company 製作公司PIA Film Festival


10. Love in the Valley of Daughters 出走瀘沽湖

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演YUEN Han-yan 阮行恩

Producer 監製Eric POON 潘達培, Ruby YANG 楊紫燁, YUEN Han-yan 阮行恩

Production Company 製作公司Singing Cicada


11. A Man Used to Stay at My Room 一個男人在我的房間待過

China 中國

Director 導演Emily TANG 唐曉白

Producer 監製WU Jueren 吳覺人, LI Liangwen 李亮文

Production Company 製作公司Beijing Yoshow Film & TV Production Co., Ltd. 北京永旭良辰文化發展有限公司, Shanghai Raging Fire Film & TV Culture Co., Ltd. 上海烈火影視文化有限公司


12. A Mountain Splits

Japan 日本

Director 導演TOMINA Tetsuya 富名哲也

Producer 監製HATANAKA Mina 畠中美奈

Production Company 製作公司TETSUYA to MINA Film


13. Naive Melody 買一送一

Taiwan 台灣

Director 導演Arvin CHEN 陳駿霖

Producer 監製Aileen LI 李耀華

Production Company 製作公司Filmagic Pictures 奇幻娛樂國際股份有限公司


14. On High Ice

South Korea 南韓, Israel 以色列

Director 導演Gary KAM Byung-seok 甘秉錫

Producer 監製Naama PYRITZ

Production Company 製作公司Ingenue Production


15. Ordinary People 普通情事

Taiwan 台灣, China 中國

Director 導演HUANG Xi 黃熙

Producer 監製HOU Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢

Production Company 製作公司3H Productions三三電影製作有限公司, Luminous Pictures 北京光景映畫電影有限公司


16. Revnost

Russia 俄羅斯, France 法國

Director 導演Nigina SAYFULLAEVA

Producer 監製Pavel ODYNIN, Guillaume DE SEILLE

Production Company 製作公司Droog Drooga, Arizona Productions


17. Saving One Who was Dead

Czech Republic 捷克

Director 導演Václav KADRNKA

Producer 監製Václav KADRNKA

Production Company 製作公司Sirius Films s.r.o.


18. Seven Days and Nights 七天七夜

China 中國

Director 導演YAO Tian 堯天

Producer 監製ZHANG Yang 張楊, ZHAO Jin 趙晉, CAO Liuying 曹柳鶯

Production Company 製作公司PARALLAX FILMS 視幻文化傳播(北京)有限公司


19. Sex is Guilt 成人禮

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演O Sing-pui 柯星沛

Producer 監製O Sing-pui 柯星沛

Production Company 製作公司Zero Image Production House 零影像製作室


20. The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs

India 印度

Director 導演Pushpendra SINGH

Producer 監製Sanjay GULATI, Ajit Singh RATHORE

Production Company 製作公司Crawling Angel Films

21. Stonewalling 石門

China 中國

Director 導演HUANG Ji 黃驥

Producer 監製OTSUKA Ryuji 大塚龍治

Production Company 製作公司Yellow-Green Pi 龍驥映畫北京文化有限公司


22. Tale of the Land

Indonesia 印尼

Director 導演Loeloe HENDRA

Producer 監製Siska RAHARJA

Production Company 製作公司Elora Production


23. Twist of Fate

Mongolia 蒙古

Director 導演Baasanjargal Orgodol

Producer 監製Usukhbayar Batsaikhan

Production Company 製作公司Wild Vision


24. Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Indonesia 印尼

Director 導演Edwin

Producer 監製Meiske TAURISIA, Muhammad ZAIDY, Lorna TEE 鄭碧雪

Production Company 製作公司Palari Films


25. While You Were Working 三個女人一個邨

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演LEUNG Ming-kai 梁銘佳

Producer 監製Teresa KWONG 鄺珮詩, Kate REILLY, CHUN Siu-chun 秦小珍

Production Company 製作公司JABES Most Company Limited 捷報事務所有限公司



Shortlisted Projects for the Work-in-Progress Lab


A. AGANAI - The Atonement

Japan 日本

Director 導演SAKAHARA Atsushi 阪原淳

Producer 監製SAKAHARA Atsushi 阪原淳

Production Company 製作公司Good People Inc.


B. From Black and White to Shades of Grey


China 中國

Director 導演HUANG Zi 黃梓

Producer 監製HUANG Zi 黃梓

Production Company 製作公司Huang Zi Film Studio


C. The Little One 小家伙

Russia 俄羅斯

Director 導演Sergey DVORTSEVOY

Producer 監製ZHU Li 朱力

Production Company 製作公司Beijing Juben Production Company北京聚本文化傳媒有限公司


D. The Man Who Surprised Everyone

Russia俄羅斯, France 法國, Estonia 愛沙尼亞

Director 導演Natalya MERKULOVA, Alexey CHUPOV

Producer 監製Katia FILLIPOVA

Production Company 製作公司Pan Atlantic Studio


E. Mosaic Portrait 馬賽克少女

China 中國

Director 導演ZHAI Yixiang 翟義祥

Producer 監製WANG Zijian 王子劍, CHENG Rui 程睿

Production Company 製作公司Blackfin Production 黑鰭傳媒


F. The Pencil


Director 導演Natalya NAZAROVA

Producer 監製Anastasia LUKOVNIKOVA

Production Company 製作公司Salt Studio


G. The Red Phallus

Bhutan 不丹, Nepal 尼泊爾

Director 導演Tashi GYELTSHEN

Producer 監製Ram Krishna POKHAREL, Tashi GYELTSHEN, Kristina KONRAD

Production Company 製作公司Icefall Productions, Studio 108, weltfilm GmbH


H. Sister

Bulgaria 保加利亞

Director 導演Svetla TSOTSORKOVA

Producer 監製Svetoslav OVTCHAROV

Production Company 製作公司Omega films


I. The Sorcerer

Panama 巴拿馬

Director 導演Félix GUARDIA

Producer 監製Tomás CORTÉS-ROSSELOT

Production Company 製作公司ANIMAL


J. Still Human 淪落人

Hong Kong 香港

Director 導演Oliver CHAN Siu-kuen 陳小娟

Producer 監製Fruit CHAN 陳果

Production Company 製作公司No Ceiling Film Production Limited無際電影製作有限公司


The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF)




05 Feb 2018

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