Veteran HK director Ann HUI will become the first woman to receive the Asian Film Awards’ (AFA) Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s awards ceremony in March.
Hui’s career now stretches across five decades. She’s noted for sitting firmly at the intellectual end of filmmaking with occasional visits to more commercial territory, and has created more award-nominated films during her career than any other HK filmmaker except Wong Kar-Wai.
Her latest film, A Simple Life, competed at last year’s Venice Film Festival with Tusi Tamasese’s The Orator, winning a best actress award for veteran HK actress Deannie Ip and three non-jury prizes. Ip won the same award at Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards last year, where Hui took Best Director and A Simple Life Best Film.
Hui started her feature career in 1979 with thriller Fung Gip/Crazy Disaster (also nominated for Best Film and Best Director at the Golden Horse) after working on TV dramas for the then Shaw Brothers-owned TVB.
Since 1979 she’s racked up 25 features, more than half of them nominated for festival awards locally and internationally. She also appeared as an iconic HK director, essentially herself, in Lawrence Ah Mon’s 2006 My Name is Fame.
Hui’s recent Tin Shui Wai duology, the bleak The Way We Are (2008) and bleaker Night and Fog (2009) also picked up several awards in Asia.
A member of the executive of the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild for 11 years until 2004 and President until 2006, Hui was also the first Vice Chair of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), which founded the HKIFF in 1977. The HKIFFS created the AFA in 2007. This year’s AFA takes place on Monday 19 March.
In other HK film news, those who enjoyed Pang Ho-Cheung’s smoking romcom Love in a Puff at the 2009 NZFF and Hong Kong Festival will be pleased to hear the sequel is now in post. Love in the Buff will release in May.