If you thought French influence in Hong Kong was a new phenomenon, one restricted to wine bars in Sai Ying Pun, think again. Carrying the torch for French cinema before La Nouvelle Vague was even a thing, the Hong Kong French Film Festival – established in 1953 – is back for its 47th outing with a whole new boatload of acclaimed movies.
Running from November 21 to December 11, this year the selection of films is divided into four main themes: International Festival Acclaim (films selected by International Film Festivals), Merry Laughter (comedies), Mother and Sons (films about motherhood) and Love Always (romantic films).
What that means is that local film fans can look forward to the likes of Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, the latest work by Abdellatif Kechiche, the award-winning director of Blue is the Warmest Colour; Girls of the Sun, based on the true story of a female peshmerga unit fighting against Isis in Iraq; Belleville Cop, an endearing and humorous tribute to Eddie Murphy and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise; and The Trouble With You, a screwball comedy about a detective trying to making amends for her deceased husband’s surprisingly corrupt behaviour.
As a bonus, January will see the festival extended with a special retrospective dedicated to film composers. Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat – an industry legend who has composed original scores for over 170 films including everything from Argo to The Grand Budapest Hotel to The King’s Speech to Lust, Caution – will visit Hong Kong for the occasion. As an extra bonus, some of the most popular and famous French films will be getting screenings that month including the likes of Jules and Jim, Amelie and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow. See here for a list of venues where you can buy yours.