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Hong Kong HAF: big in 2012

The 10th edition of the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), which runs alongside FilMart in March, has selected a record 32 projects. Notably, its geographical reach has expanded even more broadly than its numbers.

Twenty countries are represented in the project selections, including half a dozen well beyond the boundaries of the host continent. There’s also strong representation from less-developed filmmaking countries in the region. Alongside those are the usual suspects, directors and producers with some success behind them.

GU Changwei, whose debut feature Peacock won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Berlinale, brings Ready for War. Veteran Icelander veteran filmmaker Fridrik Thor FRIDRIKSSON, whose Children of Nature was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1992 Academy Awards, brings Lost in Poetry. Director Zhangke Jia (I Wish I Knew), who last year ran open workshops at the accompanying HK Film Festival, comes wearing a producer hat with Chui Mui Tan’s Imperial Exam.

Australian Tony AYRES (The Home Song Stories) is the sole antipodean selection with Ali’s Wedding.

Local representation come from Hong Kong’s Derek TSANG and Jimmy WAN, whose debut Lovers’ Discourse did the festival rounds last year to strong acclaim, including at Auckland’s Hong Kong Festival; and PANG Ho-cheung, whose 2010 Love in a Puff and Dream Home had very different sorts of fun with cigarettes. Having just completed the Puff sequel, Love in the Buff, Pang brings Be With You to HAF.

Others with festival successes under their belts include Taiwan’s Arvin CHEN (Au Revoir Taipei) with Afternoon Delight!; and China’s Ruby YANG, whose The Blood of Yingzhou District won the Best Documentary (Short Subject) Oscar, with Chocolate City GZ.

Three Indonesian projects make the cut, at a time when Indonesian film is enjoying a higher profile than it often does, largely due to Gareth Evans’ The Raid, which premiered at Toronto and will shortly screen at Sundance.

Since its last edition HAF also announced arrangements with New York’s Independent Filmmaker Project, the Paris Project, Tokyo’s TIFFCOM and Korea’s BIFCOM. All will see projects awarded at one event presented at the next edition of the other. The first such project to arrive at HAF is Tze CHUN’s Malaysian/Taiwanese/Chinese co-production You’re a Big Girl Now.

2012 is the first year in which doco projects have been accepted for HAF, in part due to an arrangement with Copenhagen’s DOX:LAB which delivers SODA Kazuhiro and Peter KEREKES Japanese/Czech/Slovakian co-production Love: 1984 and Jakrawal NILTHAMRONG and Ionut PITURESCU Thai Hangman.

Recent HAF successes include WEI Te-Sheng’s Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, which scooped a total of five awards at the 2011 Golden Horse Awards, and the Filipino critical hit Kinatay, for which Brillante MENDOZA took the Best Director prize at Cannes in 2009.

HAF 2012 Project List

1982 (Lebanon)
Director, Oualid MOUANESS; Producer, Feyrouz SERHAL

Afternoon Delight! (Taiwan)
Director, Arvin CHEN; Producers, LEE In-Ah, LEE Lieh

Ali’s Wedding (Australia)
Director, Tony AYRES; Producers, Michael MCMAHON, Helen PANCKHURST

Another Country (South Korea)
Director, JEON Soo-il: Producer, Michelle SON

Balloon (China)
Director, Pema Tseden; Producers, Sangye Gyamtso, GUO Yonghao

Be With You (Hong Kong / Italy)
Director, PANG Ho-cheung; Producers, Subi LIANG Qiyuan, PANG Ho-cheung

Chocolate City GZ (China)
Director, Ruby YANG; Producers, Lambert YAM, Ruby YANG

City of the Lost Things (Taiwan)
Director, YEE Chih-Yen; Producer, LEE Lieh

Cross Road (China)
Director, PENG Tao; Producer, PENG Tao

Curious Grandmas: The Murder of Annet Van Houten (Indonesia)
Director, Lucky KUSWANDI; Producer, Sammaria SIMANJUNTAK

Elephant Soldiers (Armenia)
Directors, Vardan HOVHANNISYAN, Inna SAHAKYAN; Producers, Yulia GRIGORYANTS, Inna SAHAKYAN

The Enemy – 1949 (Taiwan)
Director, CHANG Tso-Chi; Producer, CHANG Tso-Chi

Flowing Stories (Hong Kong / France / UK)
Director, TSANG Tsui-shan; Producer, Teresa KWONG

The Fourth Direction (India)
Director, Gurvinder SINGH; Producer, Kartikeya Narayan SINGH

Hangman (Thailand)
Directors, Jakrawal NILTHAMRONG, Ionut PITURESCU; Producers Patricia DRATI, Tine FISCHER, Pimpaka TOWIRA

Here Comes the Sun (Israel)
Director, Eitan ANNER; Producers, Gal GREENSPAN, Roi KURLAND

Igna (The Philippines)
Director, Eduardo ROY JR.; Producers, Almond DERLA, Ferdinand LAPUZ

Imperial Exam (China)
Director, TAN Chui Mui; Producer, JIA Zhangke

Lost in Poetry (Iceland)
Director, Fridrik Thor FRIDRIKSSON; Producer, Fridrik Thor FRIDRIKSSON

Love: 1984 (Japan / Czech Republic / Slovakia)
Directors, SODA Kazuhiro, Peter KEREKES; Producers, Patricia DRATI, Peter KEREKES

The MacLennan Affair (Hong Kong)
Directors, Derek TSANG, Jimmy WAN; Producer, Lorna TEE

Monsters (South Korea)
Director, KIM Baek-jun; Producer, KIL Young-min

Music and the Nation (Hong Kong)
Director, CHEUNG King-wai; Producers, CHEUNG King-wai, WONG Suet-lee

My Dictator (South Korea)
Director, LEE Hae-jun; Producer, KIM Moo-ryoung

Night of Their Own (China)
Director, ZHAO Ye; Producer, LI Shanshan

Ready for War (China)
Director, GU Changwei; Producers, GU Changwei, YANG Weiwei

Red Umbrella (Indonesia)
Directors, Andri CUNG, Edward GUNAWAN; Producer Edward GUNAWAN

The Seen and Unseen (Indonesia)
Director, Kamila ANDINI; Producer, Gita FARA

Tang Wong (Thailand)
Director, Kongdej JATURANRASMEE; Producers, Kongdej JATURANRASMEE, Soros SUKHUM

(Un)Making the Betrayal (Indonesia / Malaysia)
Director, Dain SAID; Producer, Nandita SOLOMON

The Vicious Criminal (Japan)
Director, SHIRAISHI Kazuya; Producer, CHIBA Yoshinori

You’re a Big Girl Now (Malaysia / Taiwan / China)
Director, Tze CHUN; Producer, Mynette LOUIE

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