Actor Aaron Kwok reprises his role as HKIFF44’s Festival Ambassador
Actor Aaron Kwok reprises his role as HKIFF44’s Festival Ambassador

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society today announced the postponement of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) and the 18th Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF18) in response to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In making the announcement, HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE confirmed that the Society’s two flagship events, both scheduled to start in less than six weeks, will be postponed to the summer of 2020. However, the April/May edition of the year-round Cine Fan repertory program has been cancelled.

“We hope to be able to share more information regarding a postponed HKIFF44 following discussions with screenings venues, as well as our many stakeholders, partners and sponsors,” said LEE.

HAF director Jacob WONG said plans are on track to hold HAF18 during the 24th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), which the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has just postponed to August 27-29.

“Besides, we are still going ahead with HAF Goes to Cannes which takes place during Cannes Film Festival in May,” said WONG. “We will announce the selected projects for this initiative in late March.”

LEE added that the postponement of HKIFF44 and HAF18 was not an easy decision to make. “We see the need to make a socially-responsible decision and not to put the public’s safety and well-being at risk,” he said. “Our prayers are for those who are affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak and to wish them a full and speedy recovery.”

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