• Charlie Vogelsang

Focus Hong Kong 2021: 5 Films to Look Out For

Chinese Visual Festival brings a new event called Focus Hong Kong that focuses on the incredible films from the region. Here are a few films to look out for.


It’s film festival season, and prepare yourself for some vibrant and exciting films with the Focus Hong Kong Film Festival (FHK). Run by the team behind Chinese Visual Festival (CVF) that has been bringing the best in Chinese language cinema to UK audiences since 2011, FHK is dedicated to celebrating the amazing cinema and filmmaking talent of Hong Kong cinema specifically, screening a variety from new releases to classics.


Taking place online between the 9th - 15th February 2021, FHK will explore many areas of Hong Kong cinema through new blockbusters, classics, independent films, documentaries, shorts and visual art. Highlighting the creativity of Hong Kong filmmakers and promoting its film industry overall, Focus Hong Kong is a festival you don’t want to miss.


Here are five of our most anticipated screenings.


EMPTY HANDS


Directed by Chapman To, Empty Hands follows a girl named Mari, played by Stephy Tang, who inherits her father’s dojo after his tragic death. Due to her turbulent relationship with karate, she decides to sell - but her plans are ruined when she finds out that someone else owns 51% of the venue. Chan Kent, played by director To, offers to sign over his share if she returns to training and survives in three matches. Empty Hands promises to be an intense but emotional drama with some stellar performances.

A WITNESS OUT OF THE BLUE


Part police thriller and part Freudian psychodrama, A Witness Out of the Blue follows a police suspect that is linked to a violent jewellery store robbery and a criminal’s murder. The catch being - the only witness is a talking parrot. Fung Chih-chiang writes and directs this unique and highly entertaining film that offers a new perspective on the detective noir trope. With a varied and vibrant cast, it looks to be unlike any film you’ve seen before.

BRIGHT SPRING DAYS


Bright Spring Days is a short film that tells the story of a middle-aged lounge singer in Hong Kong and her university student son who returns from Canada for a few days. Written and directed by Yeh Ka Lun, Bright Spring Days explores their strained relationships through reliving their past and looking towards their futures. Through nuanced and subtle performances, the film promises to be more than your average drama.

FIRES


Directed by Ho Chung Ken, Fires shows an enigmatic trailer that follows a devoted actor plagued by self-doubt. It looks to be a surreal and eye-opening film that examines our choices in life, with Gus pondering his existence as an actor after his father suffers a tragedy. It shows that acting isn’t necessarily as glamorous or easy as everyone thinks. The trailer gives off David Lynch-inspired vibes, and it’s one you do not want to miss.

ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN


From legendary director Tsui Hark, Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain is a classic. Arguably, one of the most important cinematic achievements in Hong Kong cinema, this film birthed the modern-day special effects and influenced filmmakers across the world. It follows a Chinese soldier in an ancient civil war who finds himself in a fantastical quest to save the world from evil after he flees a battlefield. If you are going to check out only one film at Focus Hong Kong, this should be it!


Focus Hong Kong runs from 9 - 15th February 2021, individual tickets and festival passes are available here.

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