"Chinese Film Panorama 2011" to present a variety of recent movies from the Mainland (with photos)

     A variety of recent Mainland films will be showcased in the forthcoming "Chinese Film Panorama 2011". Actors from the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan starring in the films include Sylvia Chang, Fan Bingbing, Xu Jinglei, Zhang Jingchu, Joan Chen, Qin Hailu, Liu Ye, Eric Tsang, Liu Kai-chi, Elanne Kwong, Karen Mok, Irene Wan, Alan Tam, Tse Kwan-ho, Li Yapeng, Leon Dai, Yao Chen, Wang Qinyuan and Guo Tao.

     The nine selected films reflect the new heights scaled by Chinese cinema. They include "72 Martyrs" (2011), based on heroic exploits during the 1911 Revolution; the award-winning movies "The Piano in a Factory" (2010) and "Buddha Mountain" (2011); a bittersweet tale in "My Spectacular Theatre" (2010); contemporary urban romance in "Color Me Love" (2010), "The Law of Attraction" (2011) and "Eternal Moment" (2011); "The Space Dream" (2011), based on China's space exploration; and the action-packed story of a city knight errant in "He-Man" (2011).

     It has been 15 years since the first "Chinese Film Panorama" was held in 1997, and the programme has continuously brought quality films to the Hong Kong audience ever since, displaying the achievements and latest developments of the Mainland film industry.  

     The screenings will be held at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive and the Lecture Hall of the Hong Space Museum from October 24 to November 20.

     "Chinese Film Panorama 2011" is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the South China Film Industry Workers Union, in association with Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd and Southern Film Co Ltd.

     Starring Tse Kwan-ho, Liu Kai-chi, Zhao Bingrui, Elanne Kwong, Irene Wan, Eric Tsang and Alan Tam, and featuring the heroic exploits of the 1911 Revolution, "72 Martyrs" is a rare screen rendition of southern China's revolutionaries planning, fundraising and acquiring arms for the Huanghuagang Uprising in Guangzhou, during which 72 souls perished.   

     The award-winning film "The Piano in a Factory", starring Wang Qianyuan and Qin Hailu, is a comedy of absurdity and melancholic humour. A father and his ex-wife fight for their daughter's custody, and whoever can get her a piano will be able to look after her. After having failed to borrow money and steal a piano, the father, who manages an improvised band, decides to make his own piano. In the film, produced by Kwak Jae-young and directed by Zhang Meng, the snow-capped landscape of China's north-east becomes reminiscent of scenes found in East European cinema, with a sense of optimism despite the seemingly derelict setting. The film has won numerous awards including the Best Feature Film Award at the 14th Huabiao Awards, the Best Actor Award at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival, Jury Recommendations at the Sydney Chinese Film Festival 2011 and the Grand Jury Prize of the World Competition at the Miami Film Festival 2011.

     "Buddha Mountain", another award-winning film, features four lost souls: a bar singer portrayed by Fan Bingbing and her two male companions played by Chen Bolin and Fei Long, and a widow played by Sylvia Chang. They end up by chance in the isolated Buddha Mountain, trying to seek haven from the pains of life and the chains of past agonies. Once there, protagonists unexpectedly find consolation to carry on with their lives' journeys, as mystic as the mountain itself. The film won the Best Actress and Best Artistic Contribution Awards at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival, the Best Film Award at Casa Asia Film Festival Week 2011 and the Best Actress Award at the 18th Beijing College Student Film Festival.

     Based on a true story, "My Spectacular Theatre" sees director Lu Yang vividly express his care and concern for the underprivileged. An unemployed young man named Chen stumbles into a Beijing courtyard that turns out to be a cinema for the blind. The founder of the cinema takes on Chen as his protˆmgˆm, with the hope that he will take over as the narrator for the films so that the blind can enjoy them. The film won the Audience Award at the 15th Busan International Film Festival.

     Not to be missed are the films on modern city life in the new China. Starring Liu Ye, Yao Chen and Joan Chen, "Color Me Love" is a comedy of modern urban values. A new graduate who enjoys her social life in the circle of vanity while working for a fashion magazine sees her life crumble when the ex-girlfriend of her hotshot artist lover appears. The film won the 2010 Brand Cameo Product Placement Award of the Brand Channel. In "Eternal Moment", Li Yapeng and Xu Jinglei reprise their roles from a popular TV series in a three-part anthology film on urban romance. In it, the audience finds a successful but estranged couple, a disappointed reunion of former lovers, and a wife who is torn between her husband and her long-suffering lover.

     Starring Karen Mok, Zhang Jingchu, Guo Tao and Leon Dai, "The Law of Attraction" features four interesting shorts on love and attraction in the big city. A business traveller who has been delayed due to the malfunctioning of an airport's security device sparks up romance with a security officer; a couple's marriage is in crisis when repeated attempts to have a child fail; a traffic accident is in reality a trap set by a jealous husband for punishing his unfaithful wife; and a pair of young junkies try to start anew.

     China's first film on space exploration, "The Space Dream", chronicles the training of astronauts, the development of spacecraft and space stations, space walks and the persistence of the first generation of China's astronauts. Shot on location at China's space exploration base at Jiuquan, the Beijing Space City and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia, and using special effects, the film is a ballad on the greatness of space.

     In director Ding Shing's "He-Man", an honest discharged navy man gets caught in the crossfire of a bank robbery and becomes a city's crime-fighting crusader. The film offers all-round entertainment with action, comedy and romance, with a cast led by Liu Ye and also featuring Jiao Enjun, Yoo Sung-jun, Liu Hailong and Zhang Zilin.   

     All films are in Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles.

     Tickets priced at $50 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. There is a 10 per cent discount for each purchase of six to 10 tickets and a 20 per cent discount for each purchase of 11 or more tickets. Credit card booking can be made by phone on 2111 5999 or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk .

     For enquiries, please call 2734 2900. Programme details can be found in the programme booklets available at all URBTIX outlets or by browsing the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011cfp/2011cfp_index.html.

Ends/Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Issued at HKT 13:24