Spain's Asian Summer Film Festival throws spotlight on role of women in Hong Kong action movies (with photos)

     With the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels (HKETO, Brussels), the Asian Summer Film Festival in Vic, near Barcelona in Spain, celebrated the role of women in Hong Kong action movies in its 14th edition from July 18 to 23 (Vic time). 

     Speaking at the Festival's Hong Kong Day on July 22, the Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Mr Sam Hui, noted that martial arts literature and cinema are essential parts of Hong Kong culture. Actresses in action movies combine feminist strength, compassion and beauty and they often fight against injustice and corruption, he said.

     Mr Hui pointed out that 2017 is an important year for Hong Kong, as it is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has continued to prosper and the achievements were made possible by Hong Kong people working together with each other and with foreign partners, he said.

     "We protect cultural freedom and encourage artistic creation. Freedom of speech and expression is enshrined in our constitutional document, the Basic Law. This helps maintain an environment that fosters creativity and diversity," Mr Hui said, adding that despite the city's small size, 61 Hong Kong films were released last year.

     Five recent Hong Kong films and a Malaysia-Hong Kong co-production were shown in competition as part of the Festival's main programme. They were the European premieres of Hui See-wai's "The Posterist" (2016) and Brian Tse's "McDull: Rise of the Rice Cooker" (2016) and the Spanish premieres of Chiu Sin-hang and Yan Pak-wing's "Vampire Cleanup Department" (2017) and Herman Yau's "Shock Wave" (2017) as well as "Cook Up a Storm" by Raymond Yip (2017) and "Mrs K" by Ho Yuhang (Malaysia-Hong Kong, 2017).

     There was also a special screening of the Hong Kong production "Mira" (2016), a documentary about Nepali trail runner Mira Rai by Hong Kong filmmaker Lloyd Belcher. 

     The Festival presented a "Kung Fu Girls!" retrospective comprising Lau Kar-leung's "My Young Auntie" (1981), Corey Yuen's "Yes Madam" (1985), David Chung's "Royal Warriors" (1986), David Chung's "Magnificent Warriors" (1987), Teresa Woo's "Iron Angels" (1987) and Ching Siu-Tung's "Naked Weapon" (2002).

     Two documentaries examined the role of actresses in Hong Kong action movies: "Dragon Girls: Les Amazones Pop Asiatiques" by French director Yves Montmayeur (2016) and "Cinema Hong Kong: The Beauties of the Shaw Studio" by Ian Taylor (2003).

     As a curtain-raiser for the retrospective, the Festival held a Noodle & Beer Night screening of David Chung's "Royal Warriors" starring Michelle Yeoh at the Phenomena cinema in Barcelona on June 30.

     In another highlight of the Festival, Hui See-wai, the director of "The Posterist", and the poster artist himself, Yuen Tai-yung, who over several decades painted some of the most iconic posters for Hong Kong films, attended the event. An exhibition of Yuen's work entitled "El Supercartellista" is being held at the Biblioteca Joan Triadú in Vic until July 31.

     Visitors could also enjoy Hong Kong-themed activities on the Festival's outdoor stage and Cantonese food.

     The tribute to the women of Hong Kong action cinema will continue with screenings at the Confucius Institute in Barcelona after the summer.

Ends/Monday, July 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:30