Both of the opening films of this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) - Derek Yee's Shinjuku Incident and Ann Hui's Night And Fog - are from Hong Kong film-makers, reflecting the creative strength of the local film industry despite the challenges it now faces.
Produced by Emperor Motion Pictures subsidiary Dragon Emperor Movies, Shinjuku Incident stars Jackie Chan in what is being billed as his most dramatic role to date - playing an illegal Chinese immigrant in Tokyo's ganglands.
Night And Fog is a study of domestic violence in Hong Kong and stars Simon Yam and Zhang Jingchu.
This year's HKIFF will also feature Hollywood star power in addition to leading Asian talent. Kiefer Sutherland will talk about his role in DreamWorks Animation's Monsters Vs Aliens, which receives its Asian premiere at the festival, while William Hurt will be on hand to discuss his part in Udayan Prasad's The Yellow Handkerchief. Oliver Stone is also scheduled to present W.
Special programmes include Italian Landscapes 2008, Finnish New Talents and the 25th Anniversary of Film Workshop - the leading Hong Kong production house founded by Tsui Hark and Nansun Shi. Keeping the film buffs content will be tributes to late masters Ichikawa Jun, Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni.
The HKIFF traditionally provides an overview of pan-Chinese film-making which this year will be presented through three sections: Hong Kong Panorama, Chinese Renaissance and Young Taiwanese Cinema. Chinese director Jia Zhangke's 24 City will close the event on April 13.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society also organises HAF and the Asian Film Awards.