37th Hong Kong International Film Festival
China, March 17 - April 2 2013
Gulnara Abikeyeva (Kazakhstan), Lukas Foerster (Germany), Cheng Chuen-wai (Hong Kong)
In Bloom by
(Georgia/ Germany/ France, 2013, 102 mins)
The 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) was held from 17th March — 2nd April 2013 in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. In the meantime, a strike by dockworkers is going on in this city, which has the highest Gini coefficient among the Asia cities. The Hong Kong International Film Festival is one of the oldest film festivals in Asia. Established by the Hong Kong Urban Council, the first HKIFF was held in the summer of 1977 with a focus on world cinema, while the second HKIFF included its pioneering Hong Kong cinema retrospective on Cantonese films of the 1950s. In 1978, the HKIFF began publishing its acclaimed bi-lingual publications that have since been a notable hallmark of the HKIFF Society. The third HKIFF in 1979 consolidated what was to become the template that would serve the festival for the next three decades, a program that showcased world cinema, Hong Kong retrospective and contemporary cinema and regional Asian cinema.
After the Hong Kong Urban Council dissolved on 31 December 1999, from 2000-2004 various government departments or statutory boards, including the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, organized the HKIFF. In 2004, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited was officially corporatized as an independent, charitable organization that would manage the development of the HKIFF after completing its 28th edition. Today, the HKIFF has grown to be Hong Kong’s largest cultural event, and reaches an audience of over 600,000 and 4,500 business executives attending the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART).
The 37th edition screened over 300 films, including features, short films and documentaries. The festival has five competition categories: the Young Cinema Competition, the Documentary Competition, the Short Film Competition, the FIPRESCI Prize and the SIGNIS Award. Each competition was judged by an independent jury, the FIPRESCI jury among them. The other sections alongside the competition programs were Galas, Masters and Auteurs, Pan-Chinese Cinema, World Cinema, Documentaries, Platforms, Focuses (on Hong Kong filmmakers Andrew Lau Wai-keung, Golden Harvest Studio) and Tributes.
The Young Cinema Competition comprised eight feature films. The best film — the Firebird Award went to Georgian film In Bloom (Grzeli nateli dgeebi) by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, and the Jury Prize went to All Apologies (Ai de Tishen) by Emily Tang. There was also a Special Mention allocated to another Chinese film, Longing for the Rain (Chunmeng) by Yang Lina. The Documentary Competition included eight films, the main award going to Japanese film Roots by Ikeya Kaoru .The main prize of the Short film Competition was Zia Mandviwalla’s Night Shift from New Zealand. The FIPRESCI prize also went to In Bloom and the SIGNIS Award to the Afghanistan-France-Germany co-production The Patience Stone (Syngue sabour) by Atiq Rahimi.
Finally, this year the 37th HKIFF set up a new round-year screening Program called Cine Fan to nurture new generation. (Cheng Chuen-wai)
Hong Kong International Film Festival: www.hkiff.org.hk