Film fund gamble pays off with festival win

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 4:06am

A well-received local film financed by the Film Development Fund has won an award in an international film festival in Japan.

Directed by Adam Wong Sau-ping, The Way We Dance - which is still screening at local cinemas - won the Fukuoka Audience Award in the Focus on Asia-Fukuoka International Film Festival in the southern Japanese city on Wednesday evening.

The film, produced at a cost of just HK$5.3 million, is the third feature-length movie directed by Wong. It tells the story of a group of aspiring young hip hop dancers and received a subsidy of HK$2.12 million from the Film Development Council.

"I thought it was only popular in Hong Kong because of some special situations we have now in the city," said Wong. "But it won the award from votes given by the audience in Fukuoka - it's really an acknowledgment of the quality and efforts of the whole production team."

Choi Hon-yick, the film's leading actor, said: "The film gives me many 'first-times' - the first time I've acted in a movie, been to Japan for a film festival, and walked on a red carpet. The award is also the first one for The Way We Dance. I'm really excited."

Locally, the movie is a box- office hit and has been in cinemas since August 8. As of noon yesterday, it had pulled in more than HK$11 million, despite the fact that almost all the potential backers Wong approached with its script for funding refused to take him seriously. Only film distributor Golden Scene got behind the project.

The film is being credited with making a major impact on Hong Kong's cinema scene, and has earned Wong a reputation as a leading light in the local industry.