HAF 2023 filmmakers

HAF Announces Line-Up Of 28 Development Projects For 2023 In-Person Edition

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The Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has announced the 28 projects in development that will be presented at this year’s in-person edition, including projects from up-and-coming directors that are being produced by filmmakers such as Anthony Chen and Fruit Chan, as well as veteran festival director Marco Mueller. 

HAF is taking place as an in person event for the time since 2019 from March 13-15 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, running simultaneously with the Hong Kong Film & TV Market (Filmart, March 13-16). The line-up includes 14 projects from first-time feature film directors. 

Chen, whose English-language debut Drift is premiering at Sundance Film Festival, is producing coming-of-age drama A Better Tomorrow, from mainland Chinese director Tang Peiyan; and animated LGBTQ drama Skin Coat from Singapore’s Teoh Yi Peng.

Hong Kong’s Fruit Chan is producing Frankie Lee’s Kapok, a drama about a woman burdened by work and family duties who returns to her hometown to find solace. Mueller is producing In The Fruit, about a woman passing through pregnancy and miscarriage, directed by Li Dongmei, whose Mama won multiple awards on the festival circuit in 2020.

Other notable filmmakers bringing to projects to HAF include Chinese auteur Tian Zhuangzhuang, who is producing Phakpa’s Dark Eye, while Chinese-Korean filmmaker Zhang Lu (Yanagawa), is producing The Last Haven, to be directed by Zhang Jun. 

Non-Chinese language projects include In Rhizome, a Thailand-Laos-France co-production from Thailand’s Jakrawal Nilthamrong (Anatomy Of Time); In White Snow, from India’s Praveen Morchhale (Walking With The Wind), and Nagahama, directed by Mio Taniguchi (Hiko And Vega).

HAF is organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, which also oversees the Hong Kong International Film Festival and HAF Film Lab, while Filmart is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 

The HAF line-up includes eight projects that have passed through HAF Film Lab, a programme that offers support to emerging Chinese-language filmmakers through training programmes and one-on-one consultations. These projects include A Better Tomorrow, Kapok, and The Only Way Out, directed by Yeung Leung-chuen and produced by Jun Li (Drifting).

Other Film Lab alumni include Taiwan-US co-production Hugo In The Pigpen, from Shen Sheng-Ting and Shih Jing-Ting; Guan Tian’s The Poison Cat, produced by Yang Chao (Crosscurrent); Fan Ka-chun’s Stair-away, produced by Teddy Robin (The First Girl I Loved); and The Walking Bird by Zhang Hanyi (Life After Life).

“We look forward to welcoming back filmmakers, industry guests, and friends from the trade media after three virtual editions of the HAF,” said HKIFFS Industry Office Director Jacob Wong. “HAF21 will again showcase itself as an invaluable platform for new talents and upcoming projects from Asia.”

HAF will also announce its Work-in-progress (WIP) shortlist after the Chinese New Year holidays.

HAF 2023 FULL LIST OF IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS:

Ah Ji (Hong Kong) *
Dir: Leo ZHU
Prod: HO Ting-wai
Prod co: Booooom
 
A Better Tomorrow (China) *
Dir: TANG Peiyan
Prods: Anthony CHEN, XIE Meng
Prod co: Canopy Pictures Shanghai
 
Bhunte (Nepal) *
Dir: Bikas NEUPANE
Prod: Govinda Prasad KHANAL
Prod co: Hamrobox Entertainment
 
A Collapse Of Time (China) *
Dir: FENG Yi
Prod: LIU Jike
Prod co: Slumber Mountain Pictures
 
Dark Eyes (China) *
Dir: Phakpa
Prods: TIAN Zhuangzhuang, HE Bin
Prod co: General Dream Studio
 
A Divorce (UK-Hong Kong-Canada)
Dir: Jevons AU
Prods: Catherine WONG, Isis TSO
Prod co: Movie Guys Canada Inc., 109G Studio
 
Family Of Crooks (Taiwan)
Dir: LAI Kuo-An
Prod: Juno TENG
Prod co: Dancing Whale Production Co.
 
Fly Me To The Mars (China) *
Dir: ZHAO Dadi
Prod: Jane XIE
Prod co: Dirty Monkey Studio
 
The Fruit (China)
Dir: LI Dongmei
Prods: Marco Mueller, QI Ai
Prod co: Leopard Film Culture and Arts Co.
 
Hugo In The Pigpen (Taiwan-US) *
Dir: SHEN Sheng-Ting, SHIH Jing-Ting
Prods: LAI Zhen-Lin, LIANG Mei-Jou, SHEN Sheng-Ting
Prod co: Dot Connect Studio
 
Janava (Iran)
Dir: Arsalan AMIRI
Prods: Ruth Yoshie LINTON, Ida PANAHANDEH
Prod co:. Evar Film Studio, Kingyo Films
 
Kapok (Hong Kong) *
Dir: Frankie LEE
Prod: Fruit CHAN
Prod co: Frankie Lap Production
 
The Last Haven (China)
Dir:. ZHANG Jun
Prods: ZHANG Lu, XU Jiahan
Prod co: Zhang Jun Studio
 
The Marriage Drive (Hong Kong)
Dir: Lawrence KAN
Prod: Cora YIM
Prod co: Plan C Studio
 
The Mermaid’s Tale (Taiwan-Hong Kong)
Dir: Norris WONG
Prods: Gene YAO, Albert YAO
Prod co: MaplessLab Co.
 
Nagahama (working title) (Japan)
Dir: TANIGUCHI Mio
Prod: KATAHARA Tomoko
Prod co: Kolmio Film
 
Non-Fiction Stories (China) *
Dir: ZHAO Jin
Prods: NAI An, TONG Wenqun, Dia WANG Yunzhi
Prod cos: Midnight Blur Films, Sputnik Entertainment, TMZ Media
 
The Only Way Out (Hong Kong) *
Dir: YEUNG Leung-chuen
Prod: Jun LI
Prod co: Goodnight Production
 
The Poison Cat (China) *
Dir: GUAN Tian
Prods: YANG Chao, Vivian BAO, DING Ningyuan
Prod co: Beijing Guanyu Film
 
Racing Storm (Taiwan)
Dir: LIN Yu-Hsien
Prod: Roger HUANG, Lorraine HO
Prod cos: Jumpboys Film Ltd., Whisper Entertainment
 
Rhizome (Thailand-Laos-France)
Dir: Jakrawal NILTHAMRONG
Prods: Chatchai CHAIYON, Yohann CORNU
Prod co: Mit Out Sound Films
 
Skin Coat (Singapore) *
Dir: TAN Wei Keong
Prods: Anthony CHEN, TEOH Yi Peng
Prod co: Giraffe Pictures
 
Stair-away (Hong Kong) *
Dir: FAN Ka-chun
Prod: Teddy Robin
Prod cos: Loudprovision
 
Tender is the Night (China)
Dir: YUAN Qing
Prods: JI Wei, Dia WANG Yunzhi, ZHAO Jin
Prod co: Sputnik Entertainment
 
Till Forgetfulness Do Us Part (China-Thailand-France) *
Dir: ZHANG Yuxuan
Prods: ZHANG Fan, QIU Sheng, Clément PELLETIER
Prod co: Beijing Bifun Culture Media
 
The Walking Bird (China)
Dir: ZHANG Hanyi
Prod: MA Xiaotian
Prod co: Rare Pictures
 
White Snow (India)
Dir: Praveen MORCHHALE
Prods: Praveen MORCHHALE, Suneel SAJNANI
Prod co: Barefoot Pictures
 
The Witness (Iran)
Dir: Nader SAEIVAR
Prod: Said Nur AKKUS
Prod co: ArtHood Films

*First narrative feature projects