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Speech by CS at Opening Night of Hong Kong Film Festival in Berlin (English only) (with photo)
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     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Opening Night of Hong Kong Film Festival in Berlin, Germany today (May 21, Berlin time):

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Guten Abend! ("Good evening" in German)

     I am most glad to be here with you this evening for the Hong Kong Film Festival in Berlin.

     It also gives me great pleasure to talk about Hong Kong films, which is the strongest testimony of the vibrant creativity, freedom and culture of Hong Kong. Despite the fact that Hong Kong is only a small city with a population of about seven million, our actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers and producers have become household names in the world, and our movies have also been inspirational to many outside Hong Kong. Hong Kong's exciting style of action movie has inspired a number of international blockbusters. Our kung fu stars Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen all began their road to stardom in Hong Kong. As some of you may know, the Oscar-winning film "The Departed" is an American remake of the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs", which is one of the movies featured in this Film Festival. I hope you would all enjoy the original version as much as the remade one.

     The Hong Kong Film Festival in Berlin will feature eight contemporary Hong Kong movies. They include the box office hits "Infernal Affairs" sequels, award-winning drama "Unbeatable", thrilling crime films "Blind Detective" and "The White Storm" and inspirational film "The Way We Dance". This gives you some sense of the different genres of movies produced in Hong Kong, from big budget ones to small production like "The Way We Dance", which has a budget of less than 0.5 million only. But this is no hurdle to the creativity of our younger film talents.  

     Creativity is something which connects Hong Kong with other global cities around the world. The first Hong Kong produced movie "Zhuangzi Tests His Wife" was screened in 1914. It was screened in the United States but was never shown in Hong Kong. Today, Hong Kong films not only thrill locals but are also eye-catching for overseas audience. We take pride in being able to stage film festivals in different corners of the world to showcase Hong Kong movies. Love for movies transcends boundaries. And movies are good ambassadors of our city. I hope the Hong Kong Film Festival in Berlin will help share with our friends in Germany our culture and passion. Surely Hong Kong and Berlin also enjoy a special connection in film, as Hong Kong's movie "Echoes of the Rainbow" won the Crystal Bear Award in Berlinale 2010.

     Hong Kong embraces borderless collaboration in filmmaking. In fact, in recent years, our film industry takes advantage of a unique free trade pact with our motherland called the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or CEPA, to gain access to the film market in the Mainland of China, where Hong Kong-Mainland China film co-productions are treated as local films in the Mainland. As a result, the number of these co-productions has grown tremendously from about 10 in 2004 to about 30 today. Many of them are top box office hits. Last year alone, five out of the top 10 box office Chinese language films in Mainland China were such co-productions. More importantly, CEPA rules are nationality-neutral. This means that overseas film companies incorporated in Hong Kong can enjoy the same benefits of CEPA as local filmmakers in reaching the Mainland China market.

     I am pleased that the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin has teamed up with Kino Arsenal for staging the Film Festival. I am most thrilled to have this opportunity of exchange in this great city of Berlin. I hope you will enjoy the films from Hong Kong.    

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, May 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 01:58

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