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Heiward Mak Mak was only 23 years old when she wrote and directed her debut feature, High Noon, a Hong Kong version of the Eric Tsang-produced Taiwanese teen drama Winds Of September. She followed that by co-scripting Love In A Puff with Pang Ho Cheung and directing her second feature Ex for actor-producer Chapman

To. Ex, which follows a group of young people in Hong Kong, was praised for its tight structure and light but mature tone. She is now working on a second project with To, about two young female singers striving for fame. “People think of Hong Kong as being a wealthy place with a lot of freedom, but there are lots of side stories that need to be told,” says Mak, who turns 27 this year.

Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan Tsang (pictured sitting right with Wan), who has worked as an actor, editor and assistant director, and screenwriter Wan joined forces last year to direct Lover’s Discourse, a portmanteau drama with overlapping characters in four separate stories. Produced by Pang Ho Cheung and backed by Irresistible Films, the romantic drama played several Asian festivals and won positive reviews. Pang is also producing the duo’s second film, a romantic comedy tentatively titled Lucuna, which is in post after shooting in Beijing. “Of course I’ll continue to make films that deal with local Hong Kong contents, but on the other hand Hong Kong is only a city, and as film-makers we should have our focus on the wider world,” says Tsang. Wang Chi Man, (852) 9210 6224

Freddie Wong A well-known film critic and festival programmer, Wong initially intended to be a producer — he produced Yu Lik Wai’s 1999 Love Will Tear Us Apart — but stepped up to script and direct his debut, The Drunkard, when he could not find the right talent to work on it. It took him several years to get the project, an adaptation of Liu Yichang’s 1960s novel, off the ground. “Local investors were worried it was too literary,” he explains. With seed money from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, he eventually rustled up the $500,000 budget from former classmates. The film garnered strong reviews at Vancouver and Pusan and was picked up by Media Asia for international sales. He is hoping to develop it into a trilogy.

Derek Kwok Kwok is white-hot after being tapped by Stephen Chow to direct a new instalment in the Chinese Odyssey series, which became a cult classic in the 1990s. He started out as an assistant director to Wilson Yip and drew acclaim for his first two features — edgy dramas The Pye-dog (2007) and The Moss (2008). He followed those with romantic fantasy Frozen and kung-fu parody Gallants, which he co-directed with Clement Cheng. That was enough to draw the attention of Hong Kong’s leading producers — Chow’s Chinese Odyssey project is scheduled to shoot this summer and Kwok is also developing gambling drama The Enchanter for Teddy Chen.

Wing Shya and Tony Chan Hot Summer Days, a romantic comedy directed by fashion photographer Shya (pictured right) and screenwriter Chan (left), combined Hong Kong and mainland elements and was a huge hit last year, grossing more than $20m. The film also marked the first Chinese-language production of Fox International Productions (FIP) which co- produced with Huayi Brothers. Hot Summer Days was Shya’s directorial debut though Chan, who studied in the US, had previously directed drama Combination Platter which won best screenplay at Sundance in 1993. They are now working on another project for FIP, called Love In Space, which will be co- produced by Huayi and Sundream. Alan Zhou, Huayi Brothers, (86) 135 0117 3693

Glamorous Youth

Philip Yung Yung started out as an assistant director and line producer and is also a film critic writing for local papers and magazines. After producing a Macau-set documentary called Gold Rush, he struck out with debut feature Glamorous Youth in 2009. The independently financed drama, which follows a father and son relationship, was praised for its

visual style and exploration of the realities beneath the surface gloss of Hong Kong. He is now developing his second feature with the same production company, Chang Wen’s Digital Jungle Production, which has been selected for this year’s Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum.

March 23, 2011 Screen International at Filmart/HAF/HKIFF 13 n

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