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Chinese language cinema

Mad World wins inaugural Audience Choice Award at Hong Kong International Film Festival

Austere family drama about mental illness has picked up awards in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong and done better than expected in Hong Kong cinemas, with box office takings of HK$16 million and counting

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 11:47am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 11:47am

Hong Kong film Mad World won the inaugural Audience Choice Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) on Sunday, continuing the low-budget drama’s unlikely popularity streak in its home city.

Film review: Mad World – Shawn Yue, Eric Tsang face mental and social ills in sombre family drama

An austere family drama about mental illness that’s spiced with a heavy dose of social criticism, the feature debut by director Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan Chor-hang was screened on April 13 at the Hong Kong Arts Centre as part of the festival’s Hong Kong Panorama 2016-17 section. It ended up obtaining the highest score from the audience at the HKIFF, which introduced the award this year – the 41st year the festival has been held.

Since it opened in Hong Kong cinemas on March 30, Mad World has surpassed expectations and by this weekend had taken more than HK$16 million at the domestic box office.

After receiving its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Mad World has won the awards for best supporting actress (for Elaine Jin Yan-ling) and best new director at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei; earned best director and screenwriter honours for Wong and Chan in the Hong Kong Film Critics Society’s year-end poll; and scooped the Grand Prix at the Osaka Asian Film Festival.

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Most recently, the film – a beneficiary of the Hong Kong Film Development Council’s First Feature Film Initiative – won for best supporting actor (Eric Tsang Chi-wai), best supporting actress (for Jin) and best new director at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Mad World’s international festival run will next see it screening on April 27 at the Udine Far East Film Festival, a popular annual showcase of Asian cinema in northern Italy.

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