City flavour to film extravaganza
Festival's 300 movies lie between Daniel Wu's devil and the deep blue sea of Aberdeen
Shirley Zhao and Vivienne Chow
Two new Hong Kong films, Aberdeen and The Midnight After, will open this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. Another local film, That Demon Within, will close it.
Held between March 24 and April 7, the festival will feature 300 films from 56 countries and include 88 world, international or Asian premieres.
Acclaimed Hong Kong director Johnnie To Kei-fung will join the festival as vice-chairman and member of the board of directors.
Directed by Pang Ho-cheung, Aberdeen tells the story of a typical Hong Kong family in the district the film is named after. Starring Miriam Yeung Chin-wah, Louis Koo Tin-lok and Gigi Leung Wing-kei, it highlights the contradictions between modern life and tradition, and between family life and individuality.
The Midnight After, which had its world premiere at the Berlin film festival, is based on a popular internet science-fiction show. Directed by Fruit Chan Kuo, it stars Wong You-nam, model-turned-actress Janice Man Wing-shan and Simon Yam Tat-wah as passengers on a minibus who arrive in an empty, soulless Tai Po and suffer various misfortunes.
That Demon Within, directed by Dante Lam Chiu-yin and starring Daniel Wu Yin-cho and Nick Cheung Ka-fai, is a thriller portraying a policeman tortured by an inner demon.
The festival, which involves 12 venues, will also screen several award-winning Chinese films, including Blind Massage, directed by Lou Ye, whose film Mystery won the best film at the 2013 Asian Film Awards, and Black Coal, Thin Ice, which has just won a Golden Bear at the Berlin festival. Fashion icon Agnes B's directing debut My Name is Hmmm ... will also be featured, with Agnes B set to attend a post-screening talk.
French movie star Catherine Deneuve will also attend the post-screening talk of 2013 French drama On My Way, in which she plays a former beauty queen running a near-broke family bistro in a small town.
A series of over 30 Hong Kong gangster films will also be shown.
Sponsored by the Hong Kong Film Development Fund, the festival had accumulated funds of HK$7.8 million by last year.