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Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum Selection Unveiled

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Leading Asian film directors including Josh Kim, Fukada Koji and Patiparn Boontarig line up to pitch their in-development projects at the March edition of the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

Leading directors Wang Xiaoshuai and Zhang Lu will also be on the ground at HAF, operating as producers. So too will established producers Yamamoto Teruhisa (“Drive My Car”) and Michael J. Werner.

The 22nd edition of the HAF project market will run March 11-13 and sit alongside the four-day FilMart (March 11-14) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. HAF is operated by The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and this year will showcase 26 in-development projects. This year it will also be accompanied by the first edition of the HKIFF Industry – CAA China Genre Initiative (HCG), which aims to support the development of Chinese language genre films.

Among the highlights: Wang Xiaoshuai (“So Long, My Son”) will produce Zhang Yushan’s “About Her Hidden Life”; Peter Yam and Werner (“Suk Suk”) will produce Shreyom Ghosh’s horror comedy “The Vampire of Sheung Shui”; Yamamoto will produce Sakamoto Yukari’s teen drama “White Flowers and Fruits” while Zhang Lu (“The Shadowless Tower”) is producing Zhang Yu’s triptych “Tephra.” Kim will pitch “Camellia Girl” with producer Douglas Seok (“Minari”), while Thailand’s “Solids by the Seashore” director Patiparn Boontarig will pitch “Naga Swim Upstream.”

Fukada (“Love Life”) will present “Nagi Notes,” a Japan-France co-production about a Tokyo architect and two high school boys. The HAF lineup also includes “Staring at Your Back,” by Jang Kun-Jae, whose “Because I Hate Korea” was the opening film in Busan last year. It will be structured as a Korea-Japan co-production.

The HAF line-up includes two animated film projects: “The Excreman – On the Road,” by Brian Tse (the “McDull” animated feature series); and Hana Zhang’s debut, “Pet Paradise,” a stop-motion film about a pig-faced girl battling the eerie world of plastic surgery.

HAF 2024 includes five projects previously developed as part of its lab effort. They are: “A Ghost in the Market” by Chin Chia-Hua (“Trouble Girl”); “Sink City,” by Hou Dasheng (“Hani,” in post-production); Emetjan Memet’s Xinjiang-set comedy and character study “Good Drink Pub”; Yeung Leung-chuen’s “The Playwright’s Stories”; and Yu Haiyang’s thriller “Wake Me Up,” in which a Korean-Chinese mother reconnects with the son she left behind in China, only to find out that he may be a murderer.

“We are delighted to present a diverse array of projects, including seven feature directorial debuts, two animations, and a spate of collaborative endeavors across multiple countries,” expressed Jacob Wong, the HKIFF Industry Director. “The selection is a testament to the resurgence of diversity and the revitalization of international collaborations.”

HKIFFS will announce the shortlisted projects for HCG and HAF’s Works-in-Progress initiative by early February.

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