Hong Kong film festival opens

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Author: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sunday 20 March 2011

HONG KONG: Some of Asia's top filmmakers screened their new movies to kick off the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival on Sunday, although the mood was subdued because of Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. Japan's crisis cast doubt on whether its actors and directors will attend the Hong Kong festival.

Popular Japanese director Shunji
Iwai, a native of hard-hit Sendai city, has canceled his appearance at the
Asian premiere of his first English-language movie, "Vampire." It
remains unclear whether prominent Japanese nominees like Koji Yakusho, Rinko
Kikuchi and Takako Matsu will attend the awards ceremony, the Asian Film
Awards, on Monday. However, a delegation from the Tokyo International Film
Festival attended Sunday's opening ceremony. Festival chairman Wilfred Wong
expressed solidarity with Japan's people and its film industry.
"Ever
since the Hong Kong International Film Festival started 35 years ago, Japanese
film has occupied an important place at the event. Our Japanese friends in the
film industry have also supported the festival continuously," Wong said.
"At this difficult time, I want to deliver our sincere condolences and
best wishes to the entire Japanese people, including our many friends in the
film industry."
The Hong Kong event's two opening films were "Don't
Go Breaking My Heart," a romantic comedy directed by Hong Kong veteran
Johnnie To and regular partner Wai Ka-fai, and "Quattro Hong Kong 2,"
which combines four shorts set in this southern Chinese financial hub made by
film-makers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

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