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HAF 2015 awards its winners

30 projects vied for attention, support and prizes at the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), which closed by handing out its awards in Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon.

Winners and judges pause for a photo before the serious celebrating begins

HAF 2015 winners and judges pause for a photo before the serious celebrating begins

HAF organizers received over 300 applications for its 2015 edition, which were then narrowed down to the 25 narrative and five documentary projects presented from 16 countries and competing for some of the 13 awards on offer.

Introducing the awards and thanking sponsor iQIYI, China’s major supplier of online video content, HKIFF Executive Director Roger Garcia observed, “The future is on the internet as well an bigger screens.”

Several of HAF’s high-profile returning participants missed out on awards this year, although that doesn’t mean they weren’t doing other business in the three days of meetings leading up to the awards bash. While free cash is never to be sneezed at, the projects on offer were all seeking cash or collaborators through the three days of meetings, not just at the closing awards event.

Jun Robles Lana, who won HAF two years ago with Barber’s Tales and Naomi Kawase, whose 2013 HAF project Still the Water competed at Cannes last year, both had projects in this year’s HAF but neither left the closing ceremony with an award.

Katja Adomeit, the Danish producer on Daniel Joseph Borgman’s unofficial Denmark-NZ co-production The Weight of Elephants, fared better, winning the HK$50,000 Wouter Barendrecht Award with Afghani director Shahrbanoo Sadat’s Wolf and Sheep.

HAF has a solid track record of selecting projects that go forward to production rather than wither on the development vine. Around half of those projects presented at the 2012 and 2013 editions of HAF are complete or currently in production. Among that number is Morgan Matthews’ British project X + Y, which premiered at Toronto last September and opened in NZ last week.

HAF Award winner LUK Yee-sum (left) and Create Hong Kong's Jerry Liu

HAF Award winner LUK Yee-sum (left) and Create Hong Kong’s Jerry Liu

The headline HAF Awards, presented to one project each from within and without Hong Kong, both went to coming of age dramas. LUK Yee-sum’s Lazy Hazy Crazy won from within Hong Kong; ZHOU Quan’s That Summer, produced by John Woo’s producer Terence CHANG, won from mainland China.

The Hong Kong Asia Financing Forum (HAF, 23 – 25 March) ran as part of the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo. Other events include FILMART (23 – 26 March), the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF, 23 March – 6 April) and the Hong Kong Film Awards (22 April). The Asian Film Awards (AFA) run 25 March in Macau.

The winners at the 2015 HAF Awards were:

The HAF Awards
Two cash awards, each of HK$150,000 (cUS$19,300), one for a project from Hong Kong, one for a project from outside of Hong Kong
Lazy Hazy Crazy, Hong Kong
Director LUK Yee-sum; Producer Subi LIANG
and
That Summer, China
Director ZHOU Quan; Producers Terence CHANG & Jacqueline LIU Wan-Ling

iQIYI’s Special Award
One cash award of HK$100,000 (cUS$12,900) for a Chinese-language feature film project with commercial qualities
Lazy Hazy Crazy, Hong Kong
Director LUK Yee-sum; Producer Subi LIANG

HAF/Fox Chinese Film Development Award
One cash award of HK$100,000 (cUS$12,900) and a Development Contract with Fox for a Chinese language script. Other finalists may be offered a First Look Agreement
My Beauty Queen Mom by YU Sen-I

HAF Script Development Fund
One cash award of US$10,000 (cHK$77,500) for a Chinese language script
Mr Donkey written by Shen ZHOU and Lu LIU

Fushan Documentary Award
One cash award of HK$100,000 (cUS$12,900) and a development contract with Fushan Features, for a documentary feature film
The Memory of Okinawa (working title), Japan
Director HARA Kazuo, Producers HIRASAWA Daisuke & YOKOI Maki

Wouter Barendrecht Award
One cash award of HK$50,000 (cUS$6,450) for a project with a director who is under the age of 35 and has not made more than three feature films. This award is presented in memory of the late Wouter Barendrecht, chair of Fortissimo Films
Wolf and Sheep, Denmark, Afghanistan
Director Shahrbanoo SADAT; Producer Katja ADOMEIT

Paris Co-production Village Award
One in-kind award valued at Euro 4,000 (cHK$36,000) to present the winning project at Paris Coproduction Village of Champs-Elysées Film Festival 2015
The Man from the Sea, Japan
Director FUKADA Koji; Producers KOMURO Naoko & KINO Yoshi

Network of Asian Fantastic Films Award
One in-kind award of US$2,700 (cHK$20,900) to present the winning project at Network of Asian Fantastic Films 2015
Lost in Border, Hong Kong
Director HO Hong; Producers Gilbert PO & HO Hong

G2D Post Production Awards
Two in-kind awards, each of US$10,000 (cHK$77,500), for projects to complete their post-production at G2D, Thailand.
A Jade Journey, Indonesia
Director Teddy SOERIAATMADJA; Edwin NAZIR
and
Time Capsule, Singapore
Director TAN Pin Pin; Producer TAN Pin Pin

White Light Post-Production Award
One in-kind award of US$15,000 (approx. HK$116,200) of post-production services at White Light Studio in Bangkok, Thailand
The Foolish Bird, China
Director HUANG Ji; Producer OTSUKA Ryuji

MONEFF Award
One in-kind award of US$10,000 (approx. HK$77,500) of post-production services by MONEFF, Korea
Pontianak, Singapore, Malaysia
Director Glen GOEI; Producer TAN Bee Thiam

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