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Hong Kong’s Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF), to be held from 18 to 28 August 2018, will open with Mirai, directed by the leading Japanese anime master Mamoru Hosoda, and close with Happy as Lazzaro, winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival, directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher. Highlights among the 36 films presented in this year’s SummerIFF include award-winning works from the world’s top film festivals, hot picks from Japan and Korea, as well as a special program dedicated to the legendary star Audrey Hepburn.

Mamoru HOSODA will meet Hong Kong audiences

Mamoru HOSODA will come to Hong Kong with his new film, Mirai, to open the SummerIFF on 18 August. As a prelude to his visit, all four of his celebrated feature animations will be presented from 14 August onwards. The 15-day festival will conclude with Happy as Lazzaro, a magic-realist fable mixing time-bending fantasy with contemporary social critique that won Alice Rohrwacher her well-deserved award and wide accolade at Cannes.

Neo YAU and Jennifer YU appointed as HKIFF Youth Ambassadors

A star-studded line-up illuminates HKIFF this year. Following the appointment of renowned actor Aaron Kwok Fu-shing as Festival Ambassador of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43), two promising young actors, Neo Yau and Jennifer Yu, are newly appointed as Youth Ambassadors. Together they will help develop young people’s interest in film culture and encourage a broader spectrum of youth to go to the movies, made more accessible and affordable by low cost student tickets. As a continued effort to promote local talents, Distinction, directed by Jevons Au and starring Jennifer Yu, will be showcased in SummerIFF.

Star-studded hot picks and award-winning works

A number of the most sought-after stars from Japan and Korea will also be featured, including SMAP in The Bastard and the Beautiful World; Suda Masaki in Spark and Wilderness; Satoh Takeru in Inuyashiki; and Ryu Jun-yeol in Believer. Hurry Go Round, the documentary about the late legendary X Japan guitarist, is also a must-see for fans. Award-winning films fresh from top international film festivals are also program highlights – Touch Me Not, the controversial Golden Bear winner at Berlinale; The Prayer, winner of Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Actor (Anthony Bajon); and Border, winner of Un Certain Regards Award at Cannes. Veteran Wim Wenders’ new documentary, Pope Francis – A Man of His Word, also promises to allure audiences.

A tribute to Audrey HEPBURN

Equally attractive as new hits are timeless classics. On the 25th anniversary of the passing of Audrey Hepburn, SummerIFF celebrates the remarkable achievement of this great actress of all time. Six of her acclaimed works from the golden age of Hollywood are featured, including Roman Holiday (1953) which won her three prominent Best Actress awards; My Fair Lady (1964), winner of eight Oscars including Best Picture; and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) that affirmed her status as an enduring icon of grace.

Four restored classics from China and Japan are among the most significant in modern film history. These include Yellow Earth, the ground-breaking debut work by Chen Kaige; The Horse Thief by Tian Zhuangzhuang; as well as two Japanese Palme d’Or winners – Kagemusha by Kurosawa Akira and The Ballad of Narayama by Imamura Shohei.

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