Aaron Kwok

Source: HKIFF

Aaron Kwok

The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) has announced it will host its 46th edition from August 15-21, after previously being forced to postpone due to a rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Organisers are planning a hybrid approach of in-person and online screenings for the 17-day festival, similar to the approach HKIFF took in 2021 after being cancelled altogether in 2020 at the start of the outbreak. The full programme will be unveiled in July.

HKIFF’s Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival, which usually takes place around the same time in August, will not be held this year to make way for the main event but is set to return in 2023. 

Initially set to run from March 31 to April 11, this year’s HKIFF was postponed when the Hong Kong government imposed stringent social distancing measures in January to combat a rising Omicron outbreak – the fifth and worst wave of the virus to hit the city. Those rules were relaxed this week and cinemas in the city reopened yesterday (April 21) after more than 100 days of closures.

HKIFF has also announced that Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok will return as the festival’s ambassador for the fourth consecutive edition. “The last two years have been challenging for everyone because of the Covid-19 pandemic, not least for those who work in the film industry,” said Kwok.

“It is important to stay positive and, with productions resuming gradually, I am seeing signs of a recovery, despite the recent setback with the Omicron outbreak.”

Kwok is best known recently for roles in Port Of Call, Project Gutenberg and the Cold War series. He is also one of the lead actors of Philip Yung’s Where The Wind Blows, which was scheduled to open last year’s HKIFF but was later withdrawn and remains unreleased.