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HKIFFS explains HAF award error

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) has confirmed that A Happy Wish is the winner of this year’s HAF Script Development Fund Award.

The award was mistakenly presented to Heart: The Cleaning Company at the HAF Awards ceremony on March 20.

HKIFFS executive director Roger Garcia today said he had investigated the matter in the past couple of days and concluded that a genuine mistake had been made.

Two Taiwanese projects participated at HAF this year: Heart: The Cleaning Company, produced by Wolf Chen, which was selected as one of the 25 HAF projects; while fantasy animation A Happy Wish, directed by Jack Shih, was a contender in the script award category.

“There was a miscommunication between our HAF management and front-line staff which resulted in a mix up between the Taiwan projects and led to the mistaken understanding that the HAF project had won,” said Garcia.

He added said HAF management had contacted the teams behind both projects: “HKIFFS has unreservedly apologised to both parties for the confusion caused. Our regrets have been graciously accepted by the relevant parties. The issue has now been resolved with their understanding and spirit of goodwill.”

“There is no excuse for the error but I do recognise that HAF gave a record number of 14 awards this year and perhaps we did not anticipate well enough the potential for confusion. We are reviewing the system and will do better next year.”

Sponsored by Bona Film Group and HKIFFS, the HAF Script Development Fund Award is designed to encourage exceptional Chinese-language screenplays in the region and comes with a cash award of $13,000 (HK$100,000).

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