The 17th Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum “Work-in-Progress” Project List Revealed, Feature Documentary Films Added

The Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) unveiled 20 projects shortlisted for its expanded Work-in-Progress (WIP) program that will include feature documentaries for the first time.

WIP, now in its third edition, is an important initiative to help filmmakers find post-production funds, sales agents and film festival support. It will take place from 18-20 March 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of the 17th HAF.

The expanded WIP program this year has doubled the total number of projects to be presented from 10 in each of its two previous editions. The shortlist now covers two sections, including 10 feature fiction films and 10 feature documentaries.

HAF Director Jacob WONG believes it is an opportune time to launch a documentary co-production event with substance and sustainability. “The WIP program has nurtured a number of successful film projects since its launch, such as The Man Who Surprised Everyone (WIP 2018) which won the Orrizonti Award for Best Actress in Venice Film Festival 2018, and Ayka (WIP 2018) which won the Best Actress Award in Cannes Film Festival 2018. Given the immense success of the last two WIP programs, HAF intends to take a leading role to further encourage the production of quality documentary works with an aim to provide filmmakers access to top-notch international buyers,” Wong said. “With the expanded platform, HAF will become the first project market to receive both fictional and documentary work-in-progress submissions with approximately equal strength and numbers.”

WIP’s objective is distinguished from the main HAF program, one of Asia’s most important film-financing forums, which provides a platform for projects in the pre-production or development stages. The WIP program further extends and complements the services of HAF by offering a platform for late-stage projects seeking closing funds, post-production partners, distributors, sales agents, festivals and other film-industry services. The 20 shortlisted projects are required to have completed or nearly completed shooting or production. This year’s works include diverse films from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Philippines, Iran, Singapore and Malaysia.


Internationally Renowned and Award-Winning Filmmakers Behind Shortlisted Projects Among the fiction projects, leading queer Hong Kong filmmaker Ray YEUNG, director of Front Cover (2015) and Cut Sleeve Boys (2005), returns with a new thought-provoking drama, SUK SUK, about two secretly gay senior men who struggle between their desire for each other and the commitments to their families. Michael J. WERNER, a long-time film industry executive and former partner in the pioneering sales company, Fortissimo Films, serves as producer along with Teresa KWONG and Sandy YIP. To Live To Sing, a new drama from Chinese director Johnny MA, whose directorial debut, Old Stone (2016) premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was named the Best Canadian First Feature Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows the manager of a small Sichuan Opera troupe who must find a new home for her performers when their theatre is earmarked for demolition. From Taiwan, Malaysian-born director Kethsvin CHEE’s Hello! Tapir is an animated tale of a nightmare-eating mythical creature.

Two projects from prominent filmmakers of the Philippines explore surviving in a country with harsh justice. Brillante MENDOZA, who was awarded Best Director at Cannes for Kinatay (2009), produces with Carlo VALENZONA for director Raymund Ribay GUTIERREZ’s Verdict, the story of a wife and mother of a four-year-old child who files a legal case against her abusive drug-peddler husband. Director Jun Robles LANA, a frequent presence at HAF and whose previous films include Die Beautiful (2016) and Bwakaw (2012), is back with Son of God – a project he presented in HAF in 2014 – about a 15-year-old, HIV-positive boy who is abandoned by his mother and is in danger of sliding into a life of destruction and pain. LANA’s new project Between Sea and Sky is also presented at the main HAF program this year.

On the documentary side, Academy Award-winning Hong Kong filmmaker Ruby YANG serves as producer of director Jo CHENG Oi-yue’s first feature-length documentary, Dear Daughter, a story of hope in the life of a Vietnamese refugee 30 years after he fled the war in Vietnam. In Hong Kong, he continues to be a prisoner of poverty, drugs and crime. Acclaimed director HOU Hsiao-Hsien of Taiwan is among the producers of HUANG Hui-Chen’s documentary LOMA – Our Home, her passionate examination of an ethnic Chinese journalist who joins forces with an indigenous tribe, whose illegal houses were repeatedly torn down by the Taiwanese government.

Other documentary WIP projects include On High Ice, directed by Gary KAM Byung-Seok, which follows the struggle of a group of girls in the Himalayan desert to uplift the stature of the women in India through ice hockey, was selected in the main HAF program last year. OKUTANI Yoichiro’s Odoriko, an immersive journey into the dressing rooms of the Japanese 3 strip theater, where odoriko dancers bare all, and Women of Azadi, from Iranian directors Sharmin MOJTAHEDZADEH and Paliz KHOSHDEL, about a 27-year-old who fulfils her dream by defying Islamic law banning a female presence at sports stadiums.

“This year’s expanded shortlist of projects is a reflection of the greater number of high-quality films from both Asia and elsewhere,” said Jacob Wong. “The 20 films are among some of the strongest projects we have presented over the past three years. We are especially proud to give a larger platform to documentary filmmakers, whose works underscore the enormity of previously untold political and social issues that must be presented for a greater understanding of Asia.”


HAF to Present at “Goes to Cannes”

For the third year, HAF will again collaborate with arche du Film, Festival de Cannes, to present a program offering market screening opportunities for 5 projects at this year’s Cannes film festival in May. “Goes to Cannes” presents opportunities for filmmakers to look for sales agents, distributors and film-festival opportunities. Priority will be given to WIP projects.


Details of the Open Pitch Sessions

Work-in-Progress Documentaries Open Pitch

Date: 18 March 2019 (Monday)

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Venue: N206-208, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

* HAF/Filmart badge holders may attend

Work-in-Progress Features Open Pitch

Date: 19 March 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Venue: N206-208, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

* HAF/Filmart badge holders may attend


WIP Documentaries 制作中纪录片

  1. Dear Daughter 给女儿的信

Hong Kong 香港

Director 导演: Jo CHENG Oi-yue 郑蔼如

Producer 监制: Ruby YANG 杨紫烨

Production Company 制作公司:Black Eye Production

  1. Far Away My Shadow Wandered

Singapore 新加坡, Japan 日本, Hong Kong 香港

Director 导演: LIAO Jiekai 廖捷凯, Sudhee LIAO 廖月敏

Producer 监制: Jeremy CHUA 蔡绍勇, Elysa WENDI 叶奕蕾

Production Company 制作公司:Potocol, Cinemovement

  1. LOMA—Our Home LOMA—我们的家

Taiwan 台湾, France 法国

Director 导演: HUANG Hui-Chen 黄惠侦

Producer 监制: HOU Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝贤, Stefano CENTINI 陈玺文, Farid REZKALLAH

Production Company 制作公司:Volos Films PTE Ltd. 飞望影像有限公司

  1. Nomad Meets the City

Mongolia 蒙古, USA 美国, Czech Republic 捷克

Director 导演: Anji Sauvé CLUBB

Producer 监制: Alice TABERY

Production Company 制作公司:Cinepoint

  1. Odoriko

Japan 日本

Director 导演: OKUTANI Yoichiro 奥谷洋一郎

Producer 监制: SHIOBARA Fumiko 塩原史子

Production Company 制作公司:Shiobara Office, Inc.

  1. On High Ice

Israel 以色列, South Korea 南韩

Director 导演: Gary KAM Byung-seok 甘秉锡

Producer 监制: Naama PYRITZ

Production Company 制作公司:Ingenue Productions

  1. The Platform

Georgia 格鲁吉亚


Producer 监制: Nino ORJONIKIDZE

Production Company 制作公司:Artefact Production

  1. The River in Me 大河唱

China 中国

Director 导演: KE Yongquan 柯永权, YANG Zhichun 杨植淳, HE Yuan 和渊

Producer 监制: CAO Zhixiong 曹志雄

Production Company 制作公司:Insight Creation Co., Ltd. 北京观正影视文化传播有限公司

  1. Silence in the Dust 尘默呼吸

China 中国

Director 导演: LI Wei 利瓦伊

Producer 监制: YANG Keruo 杨可若, QIU Yang 邱阳, LI Hongqi 李红旗

Production Company 制作公司:Wild Grass Films 野草电影工作室

  1. Women of Azadi

Iran 伊朗

Director 导演: Sharmin MOJTAHEDZADEH, Paliz KHOSHDEL

Producer 监制: Sharmin MOJTAHEDZADEH, Paliz KHOSHDEL, Sahraa KARIMI (CoProducer)

Production Company 制作公司:Sharleez Doc Production Studio


WIP Features 制作中剧情片

  1. Hello! Tapir 嗨!神兽

Taiwan 台湾

Director 导演:Kethsvin CHEE 池家庆

Producer 监制:CHEN Chi-Yuan 陈其远, Mark CHEN 陈南宏

Production Company 制作公司:mm2 Entertainment Co., Ltd. 满满额娱乐股份有限公司

  1. Invitation

India 印度

Director 导演:Saurav RAI

Producer 监制:Ankita PURKAYASTHA, Saurav RAI, Sanjay GULATI

Production Company 制作公司:Tree Chirps, Crawling Angel Films (Co-Production)

  1. Marygoround

Poland 波兰

Director 导演:Daria WOSZEK

Producer 监制:Marcin LECH, Daria WOSZEK

Production Company 制作公司:Jutrzenka Studio

  1. Occident’s March 盐谷

USA 美国, Japan 日本, Sweden 瑞典, United Kingdom 英国, Hong Kong 香港

Director 导演:C.W. WINTER, Anders EDSTRÖ M

Producer 监制:C.W. WINTER, HU Mengchu 胡梦楚, WANG Yue 王越, Helen JONES

Production Company 制作公司:General Asst., Lumieria Pictures 微光映画有限公司, Silver Salt Films

  1. The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs

India 印度

Director 导演:Pushpendra SINGH

Producer 监制:Pushpendra SINGH, Gulab Singh TANWAR, Sanjay GULATI, Ajit Singh RATHORE

Production Company 制作公司:Saarthi Entertainment, Crawling Angel Films

  1. The Shooter

Russia 俄罗斯

Director 导演:Petr LEVCHENKO

Producer 监制:Katia FILIPPOVA

Production Company 制作公司:Atlantic Film

  1. Son of God

Philippines 菲律宾

Director 导演:Jun Robles LANA

Producer 监制:Ferdinand LAPUZ, Perci INTALAN, Jane Jimenez BASAS

Production Company 制作公司:The IdeaFirst Company, Cignal Entertainment, Octobertrain Films

  1. SUK SUK 叔.叔

Hong Kong 香港

Director 导演:Ray YEUNG 杨曜恺

Producer 监制:Michael J. WERNER 温煦宇, Teresa KWONG 邝佩诗, Sandy YIP 叶慧珊

Production Company 制作公司:New Voice Film Productions Ltd. 先响电影制作公司

  1. To Live To Sing 活着唱着

China 中国

Director 导演:Johnny MA 马楠

Producer 监制:DENG Jie 邓婕, WU Xianjian 邬宪健, WANG Jing 王婧

Production Company 制作公司:IMAGE X Productions 上海俊睿文化传播有限公司

  1. Verdict

Philippines 菲律宾

Director 导演:Raymund Ribay GUTIERREZ

Producer 监制:Brillante MENDOZA, Carlo VALENZONA

Production Company 制作公司:Center Stage Productions

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