The 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)

Travel | by Dan Shapiro
Posted: March 9th, 2010 | Updated: October 27th, 2010 | Comments
Beginning March 21st, and running through April 6th, the Hong Kong International Film Festival will commence its 34th edition, showcasing over 230 feature length films from around the world, as well as a handful of shorts and animated films.

Taking place at cinemas all around Hong Kong, the HKIFF features local Cantonese-language films, as well as submissions from Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan, Fujian, Hebei, Taiwan, South Korea, Cambodia, Russia, France, Spain, India, Israel, the United States, the UK, Serbia, Japan, Italy, from Oscar-winning directors like Francis Ford Coppola (Tetro) and the Coen Brothers (A Serious Man)and noted directors like Michael Winterbottom (The Killer Inside Me), making it East Asia's largest film festival.

Of the 230-plus accepted entries, the Hong Kong: Asia Film Financing Forum has outlined a list of "10 Not-to-be-Missed Films" at the 2010 Hong Kong Film Festival. Oxhide II (director Liu Jiayin) The sequel to the highly lauded Oxhide, which premiered at Cannes and won top awards in Berlin and Vancouver, as well as the Golden DV prize from the HKIFF, Oxhide II, offers a warm portrait of the family of director Liu Jiayin. Divided into nine scenes, Oxhide II is shot with one fixed camera, and chronicles the ordinary life of the Liu family. Premiers on March 28th at 6 p.m. at the Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall Karamay (director Xu Xin) A two-part documentary feature (running 356 minutes with a 15 minute intermission), Karamay takes an in-depth look at a 1994 theater fire that took the lives of 323 people (most of them school children) in Xinjiang province and the possible conspiracy surrounding the tragedy. Director Xu Xin offers the parents of the deceased children a forum to voice their frustration and rage and takes a look at the impact of this horrific event. Premiers on March 28th at 10:30 a.m. at the Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall Phantom Pain (director Matthias Emke) This submission features German super-celeb Til Schweiger (pictured left) as a down and out cyclist, working to regroup his life after a devastating accident. Not your average inspirational sports story, Phantom Pain centers on a flawed hero struggling to re-assemble himself from the ground up. Premiers on March 28th at 6 p.m. at the UA Langham Place Revisited (director Krzystof Zanussi) Shot in documentary style, Revisited, submitted from Poland, is a fictional piece that explores what happens on movie sets after the last scenes are filmed. Director Krzystof Zanussi enlists Maja Komorowska and Daniel Olbrychsji from his previous films to play their fictional selves, and delves into the often unexplored behind-the-scenes world. Premiers on March 31st at 7:45 p.m. at the Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall Hadewijch (director Bruno Dumont) A complex coming-of-age drama, Hadewijch explores deep moral conflicts, as well as tackling controversial topics like terrorism and Muslim versus Christian values. This open-ended piece leaves viewers stunned and curious, a hallmark from French philosophical director Bruno Dumont. Premiers on March 27th at 6 p.m. at the Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall Crossing the Mountain (director Yang Rui) Focusing on China's Wa people who live near the Burmese border, Crossing the Mountain is a look inside a group of passionate youth who struggle to balance with the traditional values of their people and modernity. The debut from director Yang Rui Crossing the Mountain is an ethnographic portrait, full of symbolism and magnificent shots. Premiers on March 29th at 1:15 p.m. at the Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall The Dreamer (director Sang Pemimpi) The sequel to 2009's The Rainbow Troops, a commercial and critical success in its native Indonesia, The Dreamer continues the story of protagonist Ikal, following him through his adventurous life, chronicling his new friendships, struggles with life and love and his dreams of opportunities that are bigger than his life can offer. Premiers on March 25th at 7:15 p.m. at UA Langham Place Cell 211 (director Daniel Monzon) Centered around rookie prison guard Juan Olivier caught in a prison riot, Cell 211, hailing from Spain, is two hours of tension-filled excitement; as Juan pretends to be a prisoner in order to survive the takeover. Suspense builds when Basque separatists are taken hostage and Juan is left to negotiate with Malamadre, the notoriously violent leader of the uprising. Premiers on March 22nd at 7:15 p.m. at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Theatre 1 Manila Skies (director Raymond Red) An investigation into the bureaucracies and contradictions in modern Philippine society, Manila Skies is the story of Raul, a boy-turned-man who desires to fulfill his father's wishes that his son have a better life than the bleak, poverty-stricken reality of the countryside. Stunningly shot, Manila Skies is the highly-anticipated return to feature filmmaking by acclaimed director Raymond Red. Premiers on March 27th at 4 p.m. at The Grand Cinema My Dog Tulip (directors Paul and Sandra Fierlinger) A hand-sketched animated adaptation of a novel by J.R. Ackerley, My Dog Tulip chronicles the 14-year relationship between Ackerley and his dog Tulip. This profound story of love and loneliness is the only animated feature on this "must-see" list; a true account of man's love of his canine counterpart. Premiers on March 24th at 7:45 p.m. at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Theatre 2 For more information on the Hong Kong International Film Festival, check their official website, and for more information on how to purchase tickets, check HK Ticketing. For additional information on festival locations, check our Hong Kong International Film Festival Map, and if you're in need of further navigational assitance, take a look at our tips and hits for the Hong Kong MTR.
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