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SPOTLIGHT ON HONG KONG: THE MASTERY OF ANN HUI

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Presented by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
in San Francisco

HIFF is honored to partner with the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office in San Francisco (HKETO-SF) to present this year’s Spotlight on Hong Kong with a special focus on the masterful filmmaker Ann Hui. While not a blockbuster name like Tsui Hark, Stephen Chow, John Woo or Wong Kar Wai,  Hui is one of the city’s most celebrated filmmakers of her generation, with 6 Hong Kong Film Awards for best director to her name. Perhaps because of gender bias, or the non-flashy genre elements in her films that usually attributed to the golden era of Hong Kong cinema, Hui is finally getting her spotlight, with a lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival in August (past recipients were David Cronenberg, Robert Redford and Bertrand Tavernier) and HIFF’s great honor to bestow her with our own Career Achievement Award. Problematically, Hui is the first female recipient to receive both of these awards at both film festivals. Regarding this Festival, we hope to rectify this by honoring Hui during our 40th anniversary. 
Ann Hui Headshot
SPOTLIGHT ON HONG KONG: Ann Hui | HALEKULANI GOLDEN MAILE FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Born in Liaoning Province, in northern China, next to the North Korean border, Hui spent her childhood in Macau before moving to Hong Kong to attend St Paul’s Convent School. After earning a Master’s degree at the University of Hong Kong, she moved abroad to the London Film School, graduating in 1975. On returning to Hong Kong she started her career in TV, working for the likes of TVB and RTHK before moving into feature filmmaking, where she honed her humanistic and socio-cultural narratives that would become signature components of her illustrious filmography. The winner of three Golden Horse awards and six Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) for best director, Hui is one of the most talented filmmakers of her generation.

ANN HUI MINI-RETROSPECTIVE (Streaming available from November 5-29)

To honor Ann Hui and her exemplary work, HIFF will present the U.S. premiere of KEEP ROLLING, where Hui becomes a “star” for the first time in Man Lim-chung’s directorial debut. This biopic probes into the acclaimed director’s idiosyncratic world, where we witness her rashness and goofiness, as well as her humanistic concerns for the everyday characters which make her films so moving.

In addition, we will be presenting three films from Hui’s forty-year career: BOAT PEOPLE (1982) is a key part of the Hong Kong New Wave that emerged in the early 1980s, and also garnered Hui early critical acclaim, earning 5 HKFA including Best Director; SONG OF THE EXILE (1990) is a semi-autobiographical film that tells of the strained relations between a mother and daughter with Maggie Cheung, in one of her finest performances; A SIMPLE LIFE (2011) is a quiet heartbreaker that follows Ah Tao, an elderly domestic helper nearing the end of her days. Deannie Yip is brilliant as Ah Tao and superbly supported by Andy Lau in one of his career best roles. This modest, down-to-earth work would also sweep the HKFA and is considered one of Hui’s best films.

A CONVERSATION WITH ANN HUI : November 11, 7:00pm HST

Join us for a special live-streamed A CONVERSATION WITH ANN HUI as we discuss her amazing career, her outlook on the future of Hong Kong cinema, and how she is joining forces with other high profile Hong Kong auteurs to help save a post-pandemic film industry. A Zoom link will be provided at registration.

Also screening in SPOTLIGHT ON HONG KONG:

In addition to this year’s Ann Hui celebration, the Festival is also screening one of the best Hong Kong films of the year, MY PRINCE EDWARD, directed by female director Norris Wong, who takes the mantle of Hong Kong’s filmmaking future with a film that redefines Hong Kongese cinema, through a dramatic tale of 21st-century women, who are rebelling against conservative societal molds.

MY PRINCE EDWARD (2019)

MY PRINCE EDWARD

ABOUT ANN HUI

Ann Hui On-wah, BBS, MBE is a Hong Kong film director, producer, screenwriter and actress. She is one of the most critically acclaimed Hong Kong New Wave filmmakers. She is known for her films about social issues in Hong Kong. Her film works cover different categories, including: literary adaptation, martial arts masterpieces, semi-autobiographical works, female issues, social phenomena, political changes, and also thrillers. She served as the president of the Hong Kong Film Director’s Guild from 2004 to 2006.

Hui has won numerous awards for her films. She won Golden Horse Awards (GHA) for Best Director three times(1999, 2011, 2014); Best Film at the Asia Pacific Film Festival; Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Director six times (BOAT PEOPLE in 1983, SUMMER SNOW in 1996, THE WAY WE WERE in 2009, A SIMPLE LIFE in 2012, THE GOLDEN ERA in 2015, OUR TIME WILL COME in 2018). There are only two films that have won the “Grand Slam” for Hong Kong Film Awards (means a film won best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actor and actress at the same time), they are SUMMER SNOW and A SIMPLE LIFE, both directed by Hui. She was honored for her lifetime accomplishments at the 2012 Asian Film Awards. In 2017, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) invited Hui to become a member. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

Select Filmography:
1983 BOAT PEOPLE
1990 SONG OF THE EXILE
1996 SUMMER SNOW
2002 VISIBLE SECRET
2008 THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT
2009 THE WAY WE ARE
2012 A SIMPLE LIFE
2015 THE GOLDEN ERA
2018 OUR TIME WILL COME
1996 SUMMER SNOW
2000 ORDINARY HEROES
2012 A SIMPLE LIFE
2015 THE GOLDEN ERA
2018 OUR TIME WILL COME
2020 LOVE AFTER LOVE

HIFF40 ALL ACCESS PASS

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