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Hong Kong films the focus of two international festivals in Europe (English only)

     Hong Kong films are the focus of two international film festivals this month, namely the Paris Cinema International Film Festival in France from June 29 to July 10 and the Asian Film Festival in Vic, near Barcelona in Spain, from July 12 to 21.

     The Paris Cinema International Film Festival, which is itself celebrating its 10th anniversary and has established itself as a must-see event for Parisians and a leading festival on the international scene, will pay tribute to Hong Kong cinema by screening a selection of over 90 films dating from 1948 to the present.

     Ranging from melodramas from the 1950s and '60s to rare movies from the Hong Kong New Wave and unreleased movies from the new generation of filmmakers, the exclusive programming is being held in co-operation with the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) from June 29 to July 10.

     Speaking at the Hong Kong Night reception on July 3, the Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union, Miss Mary Chow, said the focus on Hong Kong cinema is particularly timely as Hong Kong has just celebrated its 15th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region of China on July 1.

     "Whilst it is our role as a government to implement the necessary policies to promote and support the creative industries, it is equally, if not more, important for it to ensure that the right environment is in place for them to flourish. This we have done thanks to our constitutional document, the Basic Law, which guarantees free speech and the free flow of information, ideas and talent," she said.

     Also officiating at the reception were the Representative of the Mayor of Paris, Mr Christian Sautter, Deputy Mayor in charge of economic affairs; Festival President and world-famous actress Miss Charlotte Rampling; the Festival Director, Ms Aude Hesbert; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Mr Jack So; and the Chairman of the HKIFFS, Mr Wilfred Wong.

     Hong Kong film talents who attended the reception included film directors Mr Johnnie To, Mr Allen Fong and Ms Heiward Mak, choreographer Mr Yuen Wo-ping, actress Ms Kara Wai, and a number of young Fresh Wave filmmakers whose work will be screened at the festival.

     Miss Chow told guests that Hong Kong is also building the necessary infrastructure to support the development of creativity.  

     "From 2015 onwards, the cultural district that we are building on a 40-hectare waterfront site in West Kowloon will start coming into operation in phases. One of the landmark facilities in this district will be a contemporary arts museum, which recently received an important private donation of contemporary Chinese works. Our Heritage Museum is currently presenting the most comprehensive exhibition of Picasso's works ever seen, on loan from the Picasso Museum in Paris."  

     Miss Chow said that the cultural scene in Hong Kong is very vibrant with great artists, musicians, dancers and choreographers, and the city is also making its mark in the field of design. But above all, Hong Kong is proud of its film talents.  

     "They have brought pleasure and excitement to millions of audiences around the world. They have received critical acclaim and international awards, and their work has even inspired Hollywood. For many years, they have been the best ambassadors of our city through their films, so that even people who have never been to Hong Kong may be familiar with our iconic skyline and know something of our unique heritage and cosmopolitan culture."

     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), Brussels is also supporting the annual Asian Summer Film Festival in Vic, near Barcelona in Spain, which will have a focus on Hong Kong movies this year from July 12 to 21.

     Miss Chow will officiate at the festival's opening reception on July 12, which will be followed by a screening of "Overheard 2", directed by Mr Felix Chong and Mr Alan Mak.

     The film festivals are among the events that the HKETO, Brussels is supporting or organising in major European cities to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Ends/Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 05:00


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