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Festival De Cannes Film Week Comes To Hong Kong

Defying the ongoing protests, the world’s most famous film festival is making its debut in Hong Kong.

Still from The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao (c) Bruno Machado

Festival de Cannes Film Week will take place at cultural destination K11 MUSEA in Tsim Sha Tsui, despite the anti-government protests which continue to rock the city. 

Brought to Hong Kong by Pierre Lescure (President of Festival de Cannes), Thierry Frémaux (General Delegate of Festival de Cannes) and Adrian Cheng (Founder of K11 Group and Executive Vice-Chairman of New World Development), Festival de Cannes Film Week will be an opportunity to bring people together, said the organisers in an emailed statement. 

"At the very heart of Festival de Cannes Film Week is the mission to enable discovery and bring people together to encourage communication between cultures through the medium we all share - film."

Six films from the Official Selection 2019 of Festival de Cannes will be shown on the silver screen from 12th-17th November 2019. 

These include Young Ahmed, directed by the world renowned Dardenne brothers, which won the Award for Best Director, while Portrait of a Lady on Fire won the Award for Best Screenplay at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, which took place in mid-May 2019.

Also making its Hong Kong debut is The Traitor, the latest work by top Italian director Marco Bellocchio.

Other highlights include The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão, winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize; The Climb, winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury’s “Coup de Cœur” Prize; and On a Magical Night (Chambre 212), winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Performance Prize for Chiara Mastroianni.

Festival de Cannes Film Week has been rolled out elsewhere across the world, first held in Buenos Aires in 2009, but this will be its first time in Asia. "The story of Festival de Cannes Film Week began in Buenos Aires ten years ago with the idea of taking the spirit of the Festival on a global journey, thereby continuing the dialogue with people from all over the world who visit us in Cannes every year in May, and creating a cinema moment with a unique format," said Lescure and Frémaux.

Still from Young Ahmed

Hong Kong does not currently have a film week but is “the ideal place for it,” according to Lescure and Frémaux.

“The whole world comes to visit us in Cannes every year in May to celebrate the art of film and to discover the latest works of the greatest filmmakers of our time, to check the pulse of the international world of cinema. What we want to do now here in Hong Kong is initiate a different movement,” they said in a statement.

“This event is primarily about reaching out. We want to meet the people who are at the heart of this industry in Hong Kong: the filmmakers, actresses, actors, producers and local distributors. Filmmakers like Wong Kar-wai, Johnnie To, Ann Hui or Tsui Hark have contributed to building the legend of Cannes and we therefore feel honoured to be welcomed here in return,” they added.

In the past, Hong Kong films have featured at Cannes Film Festival but have not won awards. There have been Hong Kong movies that have won Best Actor and Best Artistic Direction, for example Wong Kar Wai was awarded Best Director for the movie Happy Together, and Tony Leung won Best Actor for his role in In The Mood For Love.

The red carpet opening will take place on the night of 12 November 2019. Adrian Cheng said the film week will be a step towards building his goal of a Silicon Valley of Culture at K11 MUSEA.

There will also be the opportunity to take part in three masterclasses. The first masterclass on 13th November will feature a surprise guest. On the 14th of November, Festival de Cannes Film Week will welcome Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, members of the close circle of only 8 filmmakers in the world to have won the prestigious award Palme d’or twice, for a masterclass. Finally, on November 15th, Frémaux will provide detailed insight into the inventive works of the Lumière brothers in a special presentation.

Visit the Festival de Cannes Film Week event website for more ticket information and a full lineup schedule.