FilmAsia festival starts at Lucerna and Ponrepo

A retrospective of HongKong films plus new Korean films will be shown

The 13th edition of the FilmAsia festival runs from Dec. 6 to 12 at the Lucerna and Ponrepo cinemas. The festival will showcase two decades of Hong Kong cinema with 10 films and several guests. The festival will also present the best of South Korean cinema from the past year. Films will have English and Czech subtitles.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong cinema since the handover of the former colony to China, Filmasia will welcome directors Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng, who will introduce their film Gallants. Together with Teddy Robin, the main protagonist, they will host a masterclass. A seminar on Hong Kong cinema will place at the film school FAMU, conducted by critic and executive director of the Hong Kong Film Festival, Roger Garcia.

The closing feature, Made in Hong Kong, will be accompanied by a masterclass hosted by the film's producer, Daniel Yu.

The festival will start with the top box-office hit from South Korea, A Taxi Driver. The film shows a Seoul taxi driver and German reporter covering a student uprising and subsequent civilian massacre in 1980. This film has been submitted to represent South Korea in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the upcoming Oscars.

The Korean section also includes the historical drama The Fortress, featuring Lee Byung-hun who is known from Hollywood blockbusters like G.I. Joe (2013) and The Magnificent Seven (2016).

The film V.I.P., directed by Park Hoon-jung, is a thriller about a serial killer whose capture requires the help of a North Korean officer.

The Villainess, about a female assassin, had its international premiere at the midnight section of the Cannes Film Festival.

Director Hong Sang-soo’s film Claire's Camera takes place during a business trip to the Cannes festival.

The Korean section concludes with The Battleship Island, about a place where Koreans were exploited for slave labor. Director Ryoo Seung-wan’s film had record-breaking million viewers on its opening night.

The section called Stars of Hong Kong, Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017, will be launched Dec. 8 by Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng at Lucerna cinema with Gallants, a homage to Hong Kong's martial arts movies from the ’60s and ’70s.

The section will relocate to Ponrepo cinema Dec. 9, to screen Infernal Affairs. This film was remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed (2006). The screening of Lucid Dreams will be attended by the director and popular Chinese singer Teddy Robin. The night will end with Johnnie To's stylish thriller PTU.

The next day will be lightened up by High Noon, a comedic tale of students preparing for a state exam. Wong Kar-Wai’s latest film The Grandmaster takes viewers back to the time when martial arts masters were among the social elite.

On Dec. 11, viewers can watch The Way We Are, a drama by Hong Kong's New Wave one director Ann Hui. The film gives an optimistic take on the life of a widow and her teenage son.

The second film that night will be Paradox, a thriller by director Wilson Yip with help from action scene choreographer Sammo Hung.

The closing day features a love story in contemporary Hong Kong called Love In a Puff.

“Last but not least we are pleased to include the restored 4K version of Fruit Chan’s pioneering indie film Made in Hong Kong. Produced in 1997, it seems fitting for this key work to see the digital light of day in 2017,” festival guest Roger Garcia said in a press release.

The festival is organized by Axman Production with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Czech Republic, and in cooperation with Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017, supported by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin and The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

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