The world premieres of Jimmy WAN’s Zero to Hero and Sunny LAU’s Sugar Street Studio will kick off the touring Hong Kong New Talents programme at the 23rd Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.

Organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society in collaboration with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, the programme is financially supported by Create Hong Kong.  Starting with Udine, it will travel to other European, North American, and Asian cities.

The Udine programme will feature eight recent Hong Kong films, screening from 24 June to 2 July.  Joining Zero to Hero, an inspiring biopic on Paralympic champion SO Wa-wai, and Sugar Street Studio, a black comedy about a haunted film backlot, are One Second Champion (CHIU Sin-hang), Drifting (Jun LI), Hand Rolled Cigarette (CHAN Kin-long), Time (Ricky KO), Just 1 Day (Erica LI), and Keep Rolling (MAN Lim-chung). 

All films will be shown with Italian subtitles and feature virtual post-screening talks with the filmmakers.  Information on the programme, screening schedule, and ticketing is available on the FEFF official website.

“We are excited to showcase some of our new talents from Hong Kong to the international audiences through this special touring programme,” said HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE.  “The selection highlights the strong creativity and artistry of our young filmmakers who experimented boldly with genre reinventions and the changing landscapes.”

Sabrina BARACETTI, Far East Film Festival’s President and Artistic Director and a lifelong fan of Hong Kong cinema, believes the programme will offer a glimpse into the future by focusing on eight outstanding films by first or second-time directors.  “The programme will give our audience a taste of films from different genres, and it is a means to show our love and support for the Hong Kong film industry and its filmmakers,” she said.

Eddie CHEUNG, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union, observes that culture bridges communities, brings people together, and promotes exchanges. 

“Hong Kong has one of the most dynamic entertainment industries globally, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has always played a complementary role in its support,” Mr CHEUNG said.  “We have supported many Hong Kong cultural events overseas, including film festivals.  Through the New Talents Programme, the international audience has the opportunity to take a glimpse of the creativity of the new generation of Hong Kong filmmakers.”

Films from the Hong Kong New Talents programme to be shown during the 23rd Far East Film Festival at Udine are:

  1. 1.Drifting《濁水漂流》| 17:00, 2 July 2021

    Having made a significant impact with his directorial debut Tracey in 2018, Jun LI’s second feature takes a closer look at Hong Kong’s homeless people.  The film features an outstanding ensemble of actors and shows a sensitive approach to an important social issue.

    2.Hand Rolled Cigarette《手捲煙》| 17:00, 1 July 2021

    Actor-turned-filmmaker CHAN Kin-long’s gritty bromance drama hailed from the much-lauded First Feature Film Initiative.  It depicts two men who transcend their cultural and racial differences to form a brotherhood.

    3.Just 1 Day《給我1天》| 19:15, 29 June 2021

    Adapted from her own 2018 novel, Erica LI’s heartfelt story about the importance of holding on to every precious memory in life is a sad reflection of an old Hong Kong vanishing under gentrification and rapid urban redevelopment.

    4.Keep Rolling《好好拍電影》| 14:00, 29 June 2021

    The directorial debut of renowned production designer and art director MAN Lim-chung documents the 40-year career of Ann HUI, one of Hong Kong’s most influential filmmakers.  This documentary tracks HUI’s ups and downs and offers a rare glimpse into her family and upbringing.

    5.One Second Champion《一秒拳王》| 19:00, 27 June 2021

    Born with the ability to see a split second into the future, a father takes up prize-fighting to fund his son’s surgery.  Musician-actor CHIU Sin-hang’s impressive solo directorial debut, after Vampire Cleanup Department (2017), topped Hong Kong’s box office on its March release.

    6.Sugar Street Studio《糖街製片廠》| 23:15, 1 July 2021

    Renowned photographer and multimedia artist Sunny LAU made his directorial debut with a black comedy.  Based on local folklore, a film backlot becomes haunted after a tragic fire accident.

    7.Time《殺出個黃昏》| 17:00, 30 June 2021

    First-time director Ricky KO’s satirical black comedy examines loneliness and lost ideals of old age.  Full of clever plot twists and hyper-stylised kudos to classic Hong Kong cinema, it features two veteran and iconic actors from Hong Kong’s golden age of Cantonese cinema, Patrick TSE and Petrina FUNG.

    8.Zero to Hero《媽媽的神奇小子》 | 11:00, 1 July 2021

    Jimmy WAN’s biopic is a tribute to the awe-inspiring achievement of the gold medal-winning Paralympian SO Wa-wai and Hong Kong’s legions of never-say-die athletes.