Bodies at Rest directed by Renny Harlin
Bodies at Rest directed by Renny Harlin

The 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43) will open on March 18 with the world premiere of Bodies at Rest, Renny Harlin’s Chinese language crime thriller starring Nick Cheung and Richie Jen.

By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God

Closing the festival on April 1 is the Asian premiere of the Berlinale Grand Jury Prize winner, By the Grace of God, a quietly devastating real-life inspired drama from the acclaimed French filmmaker François Ozon.

The full line-up for HKIFF43 includes over 230 titles from 63 countries and regions, of which 64 are world, international and Asian premieres, will be presented during the 15-day festival.

Legendary action master Sammo Hung is HKIFF43’s Filmmaker in Focus. The retrospective honoring Hung will feature 10 of his seminal works and a commemorative retrospective book. Hung will also attend a Face to Face seminar to share his experiences in the film industry with the audience.

Three internationally-celebrated filmmakers will illuminate the festival with their insight and expertise in three masterclasses. Two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi will meet HKIFF audiences for the first time after the screening of his latest drama – the compelling Cannes Film Festival opener Everybody Knows. Korean master Lee Chang-dong will share his creative insights following the screenings of the newly-restored classic Peppermint Candy and his award-winning Burning. Revered actor-director Jiang Wen will have an in-depth conversation after the screening of Hidden Man. Other filmmakers in attendance include Berlinale Best Director winner Angela Schanelec, documentarian Vitaly Mansky, and Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-liang.

To further nurture and support emerging directors, the long-running Firebird Award – Young Cinema Competition will be expanded this year with a new section for Chinese language films. A jury comprised of notable industry professionals including director Jiang Wen (jury president), actor Tony Leung Ka-fai, actress Yu Nan and film scholar David Bordwell will announce the winners at the Awards Ceremony, which will be followed by the screening of Chinese auteur Lou Ye’s The Shadow Play.

HKIFF43 will present the gala premiere of a number of globally acclaimed new films, including First Night Nerves by Hong Kong new wave icon Stanley Kwan; and Synonyms, the winner of the Berlinale’s Golden Bear for Best Film, by Israeli director Nadav Lapid. They Shall Not Grow Old, in which Peter Jackson revives the war history with his 3D digital wizardry, will also be screened as a special presentation.   

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

Cross-country collaborations further extend the diversity of HKIFF43. The “Centenary of Korean Cinema”, co-presented with the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), showcases 10 classics as well as distinguished new films from South Korea. “French Night”, co-presented with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau and UniFrance, will feature a screening of The Sisters Brothers with the attendance of its director, Jacques Audiard, winner of Best Director at Venice. Supported by the Consulate General of Canada, Hong Kong, an outstanding documentary from Canada, ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch, will have its Asian premiere in HKIFF43.

Teaming up with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra again, HKIFF43 will present “Swire Classic Insights: Michael Nyman 75th Birthday – Beyond The Piano”, a concert honoring Michael Nyman, one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary composers.Over at House 1881, a “Corridor of Cinematic Treasures” has been set up to exhibit rare images of film classics in historical ambience from now until 26 March. Both events are free to the public.

HKIFF43 will be held from March 18 to April 1, 2019.

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