HKETO, London kicks off 15th Anniversary celebrations with dragon boats and film festival (with photos)

     Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London (HKETO) is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty with a series of events in the UK and other countries under its purview. The events started this week with a Dragon Boat Festival, a Film Festival and an art exhibition.

     On July 1 (London time), the anniversary day of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the HKETO held the 15th Anniversary London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in London's Docklands. Thousands of people came to the London Regatta Centre in Royal Albert Docks to see teams of dragon boat paddlers racing against each other to win the specially-made Hong Kong 15th Anniversary Trophy.

     Director-General of the HKETO in London, Mrs Agnes Allcock, gave an opening speech at the Dragon Boat Festival and took part in the eye-dotting ceremony for the lion dance along with Counsellor and Consul General of the Chinese Embassy in UK, Mr Tang Li.

     Mrs Allcock said, "Today is a special day for Hong Kong. Not only does it mark the 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, but also the day on which our new Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and the new government have assumed office.

     "This is the 6th year the HKETO has sponsored this event. Dragon boat racing originated from ancient Chinese folklore, but since the first international dragon boat festival was hosted in Hong Kong in the 1970s, the race has developed into a mega event, with races happening all around the world."

     On July 2, the HKETO launched the Hong Kong 15 Film Festival in London with a gala screening of the award winning film "A Simple Life", directed by Ms Ann Hui. The screening was followed by a Q&A session by the film's producer and screenwriter Mr Roger Lee íV whose life story was also the inspiration for the film.

     The Hong Kong 15 Film Festival will feature fifteen Hong Kong films on July 2-14, showcasing the vibrancy, diversity and creativity of Hong Kong culture. The films include latest releases, films made since 1997 and some classics from the 1960s. The festival was organised in association with Terracotta Far East Film Festival and with additional sponsorship from Cathay Pacific Airways and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

     Mrs Allcock said, "Over the past decade, Hong Kong movies have won over 300 international awards. This outstanding achievement has a lot to do with freedom of speech and expression, free flow of information as well as protection of intellectual property rights. Under the successful implementation of the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle over the past 15 years, Hong Kong has retained its unique strengths and enjoys a high degree of autonomy. This creates a vibrant and competitive environment for original productions to flourish."

     More 15th anniversary events follow later in the week, supported by the HKETO. On July 5 in Manchester, the Chinese Arts Centre will open an installation by Mr Hung Keung, a leading contemporary Hong Kong media artist. Mr Hung will present an interactive video project "Dao Gives Birth to One". This work won the Achievement Award from Hong Kong Museum of Art, as part of the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards 2009-2010. Also in Manchester, on July 6, the Cornerhouse Arts Centre will showcase Ms Jessey Tsang's "Big Blue Lake" as part of the Hong Kong 15 Film Festival.

     Later in the year, there will be further 15th Anniversary events supported by the HKETO, including a performance by the Hong Kong Children's Choir in Helsinki, Finland in August, and a further Hong Kong film festival in Moscow, Russia.

Ends/Thursday, July 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 00:25