Hong Kong International Film Festival

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Hong Kong International Film Festival
Location Hong Kong, China
Language International
Website http://www.hkiff.org.hk/en/
Outdoor screening at Hong Kong Film Festival

The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF, Chinese: 香港國際電影節) is a platform for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch and experience new film work. There are seminars, conferences, exhibitions, and parties celebrating the festival community. The festival is committed to discovering talent, and it is also a major platform to launch films to the Greater China region and Asian market.

Founded in 1976, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is Asia’s oldest international film festival and a pioneer in introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language and Asian cinema and filmmakers to the world.

Annually screening around 250 titles from more than 50 countries in over 10 major cultural venues across the territory, the Festival is Hong Kong’s largest cultural event that reaches an audience of over 600,000, including 7,000 business executives who attend the Hong Kong International Film & Television Market (FILMART), a concurrent event of the HKIFF.

The festival features world and international premiers of Hong Kong and Asian films, and Asian premiers of international films. The festival has maintained its founding premise of bringing films to local audiences that they might not be aware of, and of introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language, and Asian films to the world.

The Festival draws extensive media coverage from over 500 local and international press members and continues to grow in importance as one of the premier platforms to launch films in Asia.

The 39th HKIFF showcased 264 titles (380 screenings) through 8 film sections. Special focuses and tributes to masters and renowned filmmakers were introduced to create timely highlights at the festival.

The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF40) was held from 21 March to 4 April 2016. This year, the festival received 3,183 film submissions, 248 films from 66 countries/regions were shown in 11 major cultural venues in Hong Kong. 63 of the films were world, international or Asian premieres.


Previously operated by Urban Council and Leisure and Cultural Services Department, from 1977 to 2001, and Hong Kong Arts Development Council, from 2002 to 2004, HKIFF was officially incorporated as an independent, charitable organisation – Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited - after completing its 28th edition. The Hong Kong Government has continued to subsidise the festival through venue provision and funding of up to HK$7 million.

New films are featured as gala premieres, with the directors and cast presenting on the red carpet, and inside the cinema, to greet the audience. The Festival draws over 300 global members of the press.

There are five categories of awards, decided by juries consisting of film industry professionals such as film critics, directors and film festival delegates:

  1. Asian Digital Competition
  2. Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries
  3. FIPRESCI Awards
  4. SIGNIS Awards
  5. The Fresh Wave Short Film Competition

About the organiser[edit]

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) is a charitable, non-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the art and culture of film. The society holds year-round programmes that aim to strengthen global appreciation of Chinese film culture and to promote good films from around the world, enriching the cultural life of Hong Kong.

With a commitment to "the development of a vibrant film culture in Hong Kong and Asia", the society organises three annual flagship events in March and April: the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). Another annual highlight is the Summer International Film Festival (Summer IFF) held every August. Besides, the HKIFF Cine Fan Programme was launched in April 2013 with the aim to enrich and deepen the experience of Hong Kong moviegoers, the monthly programme features a variety of curate contemporary, retrospective and thematic showcases.

Passionately believing in the power of films to unite cultures and generations, the HKIFFS is devoted to giving thousands of film lovers around the region direct access to the world’s most inspired films all year round.

Screening venues[edit]

HKIFF events[edit]

Festival-goers can attend panel discussions, forums, seminars, exhibitions, live music performances, and parties celebrating the festival.

HKIFF archive[edit]

  • HKIFF01: 37 features, 7 shorts, 46 screenings, 16515 total attendance.
    • Opening film - Italy: Year One (Roberto Rossellini).
  • HKIFF02: 74 features, 7 shorts, 113 screenings, 55489 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Raise Ravens (Cría Cuervos) by Carlos Saura and The Seagull (Il Gabbiano) by Marco Bellocchio.
  • HKIFF03: 79 features, 3 shorts, 128 screenings, 80755 total attendance.
    • Opening film: Raining in the Mountain by King Hu.
  • HKIFF04: 97 features, 17 shorts, 166 screenings, 89745 total attendance.
    • Opening film: American Gigolo by Paul Schrader.
  • HKIFF05: 137 features, 52 shorts, 213 screenings, 95688 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Child of the Sun (Taiyo no ko teda no fua) by Kiriro Urayama and The Uprising (Der Aufstand / La insurrección) by Peter Lilienthal
    • Josephine Siao was there.
  • HKIFF06: 128 features, 46 shorts, 216 screenings, 109028 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Circle of Deceit (Die Fälschung) by Volkor Schlondorff, Street Music by Jenny Bowen and Muddy River (Doro no kawa) by Kohei Oguri
    • Fung Bo Bo was there.
  • HKIFF07: 137 features, 48 shorts, 220 screenings, 109170 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Passion by Jean LucGodard, Moonlighting by Jerzy Skolimowski and Son of the North East by (Luk e-san) by Vichit Kounavudhi.
  • HKIFF08: 140 features, 14 shorts, 279 screenings, 125373 total attendance.
    • Opening films: The King of Comedy by Martin Scorsese, Carmen by Carlos Saura and Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence by Nagisa Oshima
  • HKIFF09: 133 features, 18 shorts, 270 screenings, 121384 screenings.
    • Opening films: Full Moon in Paris (Les nuits de la pleine lune) by Eric Rohmer, Paris Texas by Wim Wenders and Mac Arthurs Children (Setouchi shonen yakyu dan) by Masahiro Shinoda
  • HKIFF10: 139 features, 9 shorts, 284 screenings, 119236 total attendance.
    • Opening films: PingPong by Leong Po-chih, Ran by Akira Kurosawa and Insignificance by Nicolas Roeg
  • HKIFF11: 136 features, 21 shorts, 320 screenings, 120897 total attendance.
    • Opening films: The Green Ray (Le rayon vert) by Eric Rohmer, To Sleep So As To Dream (Yumemiru yoni nemuritai) by Kaizo Hayashi and The Sacrifice (Offret) by Andrei Tarkovsky
  • HKIFF12: 134 features, 20 shorts, 329 screenings, 113364 total attendance.
    • Closing films: Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders and Red Sorghum (Hong Gao liang) by Zhang Yimou
  • HKIFF13: 123 features, 37 shorts, 318 screenings, 95422 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Ashik Kerib by Dodo Abashidze and Sergei Parajanov, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios) by Pedro Almodovar and Pellethe Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren/Pelle erövraren) by Bille August
  • HKIFF14: 147 features, 21 shorts, 329 screenings, 106674 total attendance.
    • Closing film: Song oftheExile by Ann Hui
  • HKIFF15: 173 features, 28 shorts, 330 screenings, 115884 total attendance.
    • Opening film: Li Lianying: The Imperial Eunuch by Tian Zhuangzhuang
    • Closing film: My American Grandson by Ann Hui
  • HKIFF16: 146 features, 33 shorts, 272 screenings, 109032 total attendance.
    • Opening films: Ripples Across Stagnant Water by Ling Zifeng and High Heels (Tacones lejanos) by Pedro Almodovar
  • HKIFF17: 150 features, 35 shorts, 270 screenings, 111556 total attendance.
    • Opening films: For Fun by Ning Ying and Opening Night by John Cassavetes
    • Closing film: The Wedding Banquet by Ang Lee
  • HKIFF18: 159 features, 38 shorts, 262 screenings, 100100 total attendance.
  • HKIFF19: 146 features, 55 shorts, 286 screenings, 172800 total attendance.
    • Opening films: In the Heat of the Sun by Jiang Wen
  • HKIFF20: 150 features, 35 shorts, 292 screenings.
    • Opening films: Hu Du Men by Shu Kei and From Dusk Till Dawn by Robert Rodriguez
    • Closing films: Mahjong by Edward Yang and The King of Masks by Wu Tianming

Chinese censorship[edit]

In 2002, a legitimate film in the HKIFF program was retracted because a banned film was shown alongside it. Filmmakers worried that being in the league of banned films might offend the authorities. But it was the country title of “China” printed in the programme notes that the Chinese Government had contested, not the film itself.

In China, a film that has not received documentation is unauthorized, and therefore does not officially exist. Labelling such a film as “from China” offends the Chinese Government.

When the HKIFF ran these films, the Chinese government would retract them. They would blame it on the improper procedures taken by HKIFF but say nothing of the film content. The HKIFF has found a way around this.

Unauthorised films can still be part of the HKIFF programme, thanks to creative classification. Since the 2003 incident, the HKIFF no longer classified Chinese language films by their countries of origin. They began to label mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Singaporean films by their languages. It has had no trouble since.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]