Panel Discussion on ‘New Hong Kong Cinema’ Held
The current day Hong Kong cinema was the topic of discussion at one of the sessions on Monday, at the 22 nd International Film Festival of Kerala. The panel discussion on‘New Hong Kong Cinema’ was moderated by IFFK Artistic Director Bina Paul, and comprised panelists from the Hong Kong film industry. Lo Yiu Fai, director of ‘Happiness’ shared his views on independent filmmaking in Hong Kong. Asian Film Awards Academy member Jacqueline Tong and Hong Kong- based journalist Vivienne Manchi Chow were the other panelists.
Panelists spoke of the influence that China and Chinese cinema has on HongKong’s film industry. Reprising the socio-cultural aesthetics in Hong Kong cinema comes about as a great challenge for young and upcoming directors, they noted. The change in the economic status of China has negatively impacted the film industry, they felt.
Vivienne Chow, replying to a comment by Bina Paul about the “end of Hong Kong cinema”, presented a few facts about the revolution that had made a change in the perspective of people in Hong Kong. Chow observed that the Hong Kong movie industry was going through a positive change after the 2014 Umbrella protest. Talking of the ‘fifth generation directors’ of Hong Kong and their hard work to stay afloat in the film industry, she regarded the British invasion as an intellectual movement that widened the people’s perspective about Hong Kong.
Representing the Asian Film Awards Academy, Jacqueline Tong spoke at length about the huge opportunities available in China, and wondered why that was not the case with Hong Kong.Pointing out that India is vibrant in terms of film making, Tong said that India has films that are both commercially and critically successful.
The system of certification is another concern that the movie makers of Hong Kong face, Tong added. “Mainland China and Hong Kong have two separate systems of certification and this has forced the audience of Hong Kong to watch movies that are only certified for them,” Tong added.
The Asian Cinerama section at the International Film Festival of Kerala is an example of this awakening of the identity struggle in Hong Kong movies. As many as three of the six films in this category are from Hong Kong. These films are being screened by the Asian Film Awards Academy, which aims to secure more venues for Asian regional films.