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Hong Kong films in the spotlight in New York (with photos)
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     The 2017 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is presenting a diverse selection of 10 outstanding Hong Kong films, including a number of North American premieres. Its Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Hong Kong cinema legend Eric Tsang to recognise his tremendous contributions to the industry over the years, both on and off camera.

     Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY), the Festival is showcasing both the newest releases and classic hits from Hong Kong under the banner "Hong Kong Panorama" at Lincoln Center and the School of Visual Arts Theatre until July 16. The Festival includes the North American premieres of three recent Hong Kong films: "Dealer/Healer" (2017), "With Prisoners" (2017) and "Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight" (2017). Two other films will be making their New York debuts: "Vampire Cleanup Department" (2017) and "Mad World" (2016). The latter is from director Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan, and Tsang stars in the film and co-produced it with Heiward Mak.

     Speaking at a press conference on July 12 (New York time) to introduce Tsang and his "Mad World" colleagues to the media, the Director of HKETONY, Mr Steve Barclay, said the Hong Kong Government's efforts to promote film development and nurture young talents have begun to bear fruit. He stressed that the Government will continue to actively support and promote the Hong Kong film industry worldwide, through programmes such as the US$66 million Film Development Fund, which was set up to encourage more local film productions and nurture production talent, and the First Feature Film Initiative (FFFI), which was launched in 2014 to identify and cultivate new talents.

     The press conference, where Eric Tsang was warmly welcomed by the American press, came after his triumph at the Hong Kong Film Awards in April, when he took home the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in "Mad World". Florence Chan's screenplay for the film was one of three projects selected for the Government's inaugural FFFI, and won Chan the Best Screenplay award from the Hong Kong Film Critics Society in 2017. "Mad World" also earned Wong Chun the Hong Kong Film Awards' prize for Best New Director.

     Working with young, up-and-coming filmmakers is nothing new for Eric Tsang. Aside from his stellar acting career, which has comprised over 250 credits since his debut at age 19, Tsang has also been a force to jumpstart the Hong Kong film industry whenever it was at low ebb. He has produced a number of young directors' debut films, including Heiward Mak's "High Noon" (2008), for which Mak was nominated for the Best New Director award at the 2009 Hong Kong Film Awards - she is the youngest female director ever to be so honoured.

     The Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to Tsang on July 12 (New York time), is a tribute to his brilliant work as an actor as well as his long-term commitment to the future of the Hong Kong cinema world.

     The screenings for all 10 of the NYAFF's Hong Kong films open with a one-minute promotional video celebrating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's 20th anniversary. The clip highlights the city's unique East-meets-West cultural characteristics and the anniversary theme of "Together´╝ÄProgress ´╝ÄOpportunity".

     The other five Hong Kong films to appear in this year's festival are "Election" (2005), "Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back" (2017), “Soul Mate” (2016), "The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D" (2014) and "This Is Not What I Expected" (2017).

     This is the ninth consecutive year that the HKETONY has brought award-winning Hong Kong movies, as well as home-grown film directors, actors, actresses and screenwriters, to New York for the NYAFF.
 
Ends/Thursday, July 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:40
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Photo

The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Mr Steve Barclay (first left); actor Eric Tsang (centre); director Wong Chun (first right); screenwriter Florence Chan (second right); and producer Heiward Mak (second left) attend the press conference for the Hong Kong Panorama programme at the New York Asian Film Festival on July 12 (New York time).
(From left): The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Mr Steve Barclay is pictured with actor Eric Tsang; director Wong Chun; screenwriter Florence Chan; and senior programmer of New York Asian Film Festival, Mr Stephen Cremin at the Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award presentation ceremony on July 12 (New York time).
The Deputy Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY), Mr Michael Kwan (first right); and the Head of Communications and Public Relations of HKETONY, Ms Claudia Yeung (second right); are pictured with actor Eric Tsang (third right); screenwriter Florence Chan (third left); director Wong Chun (second left); and Executive Director of New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), Mr Samuel Jamier at the Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award presentation ceremony on July 12 (New York time).
Actor Eric Tsang receives the Star Hong Kong Lifetime Achievement Award at New York's Lincoln Center on July 12 (New York time).