All Shall Be Well

Source: Berlinale

‘All Shall Be Well’

Ray Yeung’s All Shall Be Well has been set as the opening film of the 48th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF, March 28-April 8), which has unveiled its full lineup today.

It will mark the Asian premiere of the Hong Kong feature, which debuted in the Panorama strand of the Berlinale last month and won the Teddy Award. Starring Patra Au and Maggie Li, it centres on a lesbian couple in their twilight years. After one of them dies, the other struggles to retain both her dignity and the home they shared for more than 30 years.

Miyake Sho’s All The Long Nights, which also played at the recent Berlinale in the Forum section, will close the festival. Based on Maiko Seo’s novel of the same name, the Japanese drama centres on a young man and woman who suffer from debilitating medical disorders and form a bond to help each other.

At a press conference in Hong Kong today, the festival revealed it will showcase more than 190 films from 62 countries and regions, including five world premieres and six international premieres.

Titles set to receive their world premieres include Love Lies, the feature directorial debut of Ho Miu Ki, which stars Sandra Ng of Zero To Hero, singer Cheung Tin-fu and Stephy Tang of box office hit Table For Six. Ng plays a widowed gynaecologist who falls for a French engineer on a dating app, which turns out to be a romance scam. Nevertheless, she insists it is true love, despite being swindled out of a large sum of money.

Black comedy Fresh Off Markham will also world premiere at the festival. The anthology feature is directed by Kurt Yuen, Cyrus Lo and Trevor Choi, and comprises interlocking stories that satirises the experiences of immigrants in a foreign land.

The film is among eight titles that will compete for the festival’s Firebird Awards in the Chinese-language category (see below for full list).

Also set to premiere at HKIFF is Cinema Strada, a documentary about respected film critic and historian Law Kar, affectionately known as Uncle Kar, who reflects on his personal and cinematic experiences over the past 80 years. The film also sheds light on Hong Kong cinema and the socio-political changes of the city.

A further documentary highlight is Wong Siu-Pong’s Obedience, which received its world premiere at Rotterdam and explores an old neighbourhood in Hung Hom – an area in the southeast of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Peninsula – revealing a microcosm of the territory and its many contradictions. Director Wong is known for documentaries such as Fish Story, Snuggle and 3CM.

As previously announced, the Asian premiere of a collaboration between Oscar-winner Ryusuke Hamaguchi and composer Eiko Ishibashi will see a one-off live music performance of Gift – a companion piece to Hamaguchi’s Venice grand jury prize winner Evil Does Not Exist.

Renowned Hong Kong director Fruit Chan is this year’s filmmaker in focus and will be honoured with a commemorative book, an on-stage interview and the screening of 10 of his features including The Midnight After, Three Husbands and Durian Durian.

Filmmakers set to attend HKIFF and deliver masterclasses include British-Irish writer and filmmaker Martin McDonagh, who will also be the subject of a career retrospective that includes In Bruges and The Banshees Of Inisherin; Spanish director Víctor Erice; and Cannes best actress award-winner Zar Amir of Holy Spider.

HKIFF forms part of Hong Kong Entertainment Expo, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and comprises a further eight events, including the Asian Film Awards (March 10), Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (Filmart, March 11-14), HKIFF Industry Project Market (March 11-13), Asia Video Summit (March 13-14) and Hong Kong Film Awards (April 14).

HKIFF Firebird Awards 2024

Young Cinema Competition (Chinese-language)

  • Borrowed Time, dir. Choy Ji
  • Brief History Of A Family, dir. Lin Jianjie
  • Carefree Days, dir. Liang Ming
  • Fresh Off Markham, dirs. Kurt Yuen, Cyrus Lo, Trevor Choi
  • A Journey In Spring, dirs. Peng Tzu-Hui, Wang Ping-Wen
  • Snow In Midsummer, dir. Chong Keat-aun
  • Some Rain Must Fall, dir. Qiu Yang
  • A Song Sung Blue, dir. Geng Zihan

Young Cinema Competition (world)

  • Arcadia (Greece), dir. Yorgos Zois
  • Arni (Hun), dir. Dorka Vermes
  • Ivo (Ger), dir. Eva Trobisch
  • Pepe (Dom Rep-Nam-Ger-Fr), dir. Nelson Carlos de los Santos Arias
  • Sons (Den-Swe), dir. Gustav Möller
  • Sujo (Mex-Fr-US), dirs. Astrid Rondero, Fernanda Valadez
  • The Tenants (S Kor), dir. Yoon Eun-kyoung
  • Who Do I Belong To (Tun-Fr-Can), dir. Meryam Joobeur

Documentary Competition