Jun 25, 2020
Beloved Series Celebrating One of the World’s Most Important Film Industries Goes Virtual with Online Screenings and Live-Streamed Filmmaker Q&As
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM has announced the lineup for the tenth annual Hong Kong Cinema film series, which will take place July 12–August 5 as an online showcase of four films, each with a live-streamed Q&A. Presented in association with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco, this annual series of exciting new work from one of the world’s most important filmmaking hubs displays the region’s proficiency in developing entertaining films in a range of genres and storytelling styles. Though unable to take place as an in-person event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s program offers exciting opportunities to virtually engage with an exciting roster of up-and-coming international talent in front of and behind the camera.
“Though COVID-19 creates numerous hurdles for us all, it’s exciting that this year’s Hong Kong Cinema seeks to reach its widest audience yet since we are not limited to one geographic region,” said Rod Armstrong, SFFILM Associate Director of Programming. “It’s also thrilling that we’ll be able to have guests for every screening so that attendees can get the broadest perspective possible of current filmmaking trends in the region.”
“Amid the pandemic, we are thrilled to be able to continue this annual festival by moving it online and that film directors and talents in Hong Kong will be able to join the live-streamed conversation,” said Ivanhoe Chang, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco. “We are grateful to the dedicated effort of SFFILM and their appreciation of Hong Kong movies and emerging talents. Our office is committed to continue promoting Hong Kong movies to a wider audience and this online edition will surely serve that purpose.”
Featuring three diverse and exciting new films and one reprise from the 2017 SFFILM Festival, this year’s Hong Kong Cinema showcases emerging Hong Kong directors with a weekly online screening supplemented by a live-streamed conversation with key cast and crew members. These films tackle important issues such as disability, aging in the gay community, and mental illness with insight and candor. Stellar performances abound, including career-best roles for superstars Shawn Yue, Alex Lam, and Anthony Wong.
All Hong Kong Cinema programs are free for SFFILM members. Individual tickets are $8 for the general public; a $15 pass provides access to all films and conversations. The conversation for Mad World is free and open to the public; advance RSVP is required. Ticket-buyers and registrants will be sent private links to stream each film online, and provided access to each live-streamed Q&A session with the filmmakers and special guests. The box office is now open at sffilm.org.
For complete program information visit sffilm.org/presents
Sunday, July 12, 5:00 pm
Still Human: Online Q&A with actor Crisel Consunji
The relationship between a paralyzed man and his Filipina caretaker develops with sensitivity and nuance in Oliver Chan’s debut film. Cheong-wing is a former construction worker who has let anger and bitterness estrange him from family members and society in general. His emotional state causes him to treat his new caregiver Evelyn with disdain and thinly veiled racism, but her undaunted cheer and professionalism eventually lead to respect and rapport between the two. Hong Kong superstar Anthony Wong shows the wounded humanity below Cheong-wing’s gruff surface while newcomer Crisel Cosunji brilliantly indicates the steely determination that underlies Evelyn’s pleasant surface. Along with a trio of Hong Kong Film Awards for Wong, Cosunji, and director Chan, Still Human was a winning project of Create Hong Kong’s First Feature Film Initiative.
Wednesday, July 22, 7:00 pm
Twilight’s Kiss (Suk Suk): Online Q&A with director Ray Yeung
The challenges facing aging gay men are dramatized with great warmth in Ray Yeung’s Hong Kong-set portrait of a new love affair. Hoi and Pak have both acknowledged their sexuality late in life; Pak is still married when he makes a pass at Hoi, and they’ve both raised children. But together they find a camaraderie and passion that have been missing thus far in their lives. As their relationship touchingly develops, Yeung’s script also advocates movingly for the lives of elderly LGBTQ people. This film was originally scheduled to screen at the 2020 SFFILM Festival and won two Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Wednesday, July 29, 7:00 pm
Lion Rock: Online Q&A with director Nick Leung, actor Alex La, and subject Lai Chi-wai
David Ki (Alex Lam) is an internationally ranked outdoor climber with his sights set on further glory when a freeway accident leaves him without the use of both legs. As he and his wife navigate medical and judicial systems with baroque rules, he also trains himself to climb in his wheelchair with the eventual goal of climbing the eponymous landmark. Based on a real-life story, Nick Leung’s rousing film expertly details David’s past glories, romantic connections, and physical struggles to re-master the sport he loves.
Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 pm
Mad World: Online Q&A with director Wong Chun
Wong Chun’s first feature film Mad World quietly and perceptively tells the story of one man afflicted with bipolar disorder. Tung (Shawn Yue), once a successful stockbroker, has just been released from a sanitarium into his dad’s care. Long estranged from each other, father (Eric Tsang) and son try to reconcile their differences inside of a cramped urban apartment. A winner of three Hong Kong Film Awards in 2017.
Hong Kong Cinema is presented in partnership with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco.
SFFILM produces a robust slate of public programs throughout the year, including red carpet premiere events, advance member screenings, and in-depth film series. With diverse offerings and a commitment to excellence in world cinema, SFFILM is the home of great film in the Bay Area all year long. For more information visit sffilm.org/presents.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round nonprofit organization delivering screenings and events to nearly 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 15,000 students, teachers, and families annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services. For more information visit sffilm.org.