The director and star of the opening film - Yau Nai Hoi and Simon Yam respectively - were also on hand for the opening celebrations. Other stars to make an appearance included Korea 's Lee Jun-gi (King And The Clown), Hong Kong stars Donnie Yen and Shawn Yue, China 's Zhou Xun and Huang Xiaoming and Taiwan 's Chang Chen and Shu Qi.
During the opening ceremony, Maggie Cheung was presented with an award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Film' while veteran director Xie Jin and actress Zhang Rui Fang were both given lifetime achievement awards.
The selection of a Hong Kong film to open the festival is intended to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong 's handover to China, according to SIFF managing director Tang Lijune. Eye In The Sky is also one of 16 films competing for the festival's top honours - the Jin Jue Awards.
Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien's Red Balloon, which recently opened Cannes ' Un Certain Regard, will be the closing film of festival (out of competition) and receive its Asian premiere on June 24.
SIFF is also hosting a small film market (June 17-19), with around 40 Chinese companies, two Korean companies and handful of European promotional bodies. Around 120 buyers are attending the market including Fortissimo Films, Distant Horizon and Global Entertainment Group.
The festival is also holding a co-production projects forum on June 21 and 22 (see separate story).
SIFF also announced that advance ticket sales of the festival's programme have reached $564,000 (RMB4.3m) which is three times the sales figure of last year.