The Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council (FDC), Dr Wilfred Wong, today (April 17) congratulated Film Development Fund-funded films "Lost Love" and "The Sparring Partner" on winning Best Actress Award, Best Film Editing Award, Best Original Film Song Award and Best New Director Award at the 41st Hong Kong Film Awards.
Dr Wong said, "Under the First Feature Film Initiative and Film Production Financing Scheme, the Film Development Fund has supported many local film productions. Apart from increasing the quantity of local films, it has also nurtured many new directors. I am very pleased that a total of six films under the two schemes have received 27 nominations in 17 categories in the 41st Hong Kong Film Awards this year, which shows that the projects under the two schemes have been recognised and affirmed by their peers. I am confident that the two schemes will continue to bring high-quality films and nurture highly talented Hong Kong young film practitioners."
"Lost Love" is a funded film under the First Feature Film Initiative, produced by Katherine Lee, directed by Ka Sing-fung, with a screenplay co-written by Lo Kim-fei and Ka. The film stars Sammi Cheng, Alan Luk and Hedwig Tam. The film received a total of three nominations, including Best Actress, Best Costume & Makeup Design and Best Original Film Song. Sammi Cheng and "Live a Life (Lost Love)" won the Best Actress Award and the Best Original Film Song Award.
"The Sparring Partner" is a funded film under the Film Production Financing Scheme, produced by Philip Yung, directed by Ho Cheuk-tin, with a screenplay co-written by Frankie Tam, Oliver Yip and Thomas Leung. The film stars Mak Pui-tung, Yeung Wai-lun, Louisa So, Jan Lamb and Harriet Yeung. The film received a total of 16 nominations for the Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Original Film Score, Best Original Film Song, Best Sound Design, Best Visual Effects and Best New Director. Ho won the Best New Director Award, and J.Him Lee, Zhang Zhao and Jojo Shek won the Best Film Editing Award.
The First Feature Film Initiative identifies new talents through a competition on screenplay and production proposals. The competition is divided into the Higher Education Institution Group and the Professional Group, with each group being awarded a maximum of three prizes. The director of each participating team shall not have previously shot any commercial film of 80 minutes or above. The Film Development Fund provides funding for the winning teams to implement their film proposals and make their first commercial feature films. The winning teams are required to complete the whole film production and sales process, which involve planning, shooting and distribution, in order to acquire knowledge from creation to practical application in making a feature film.
The Film Production Financing Scheme aims to provide finance for small to medium-budget film productions with the objectives of encouraging more commercial investment in film productions, creating a larger mass of film activity and employment opportunities. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought exceptional challenges to the Hong Kong film industry, the Government launched a Relaxation Plan under the Financing Scheme in July 2020 to increase the number of local film production in the short term and render relief to film practitioners. Having regard to the overwhelming response from the industry, the application period originally scheduled for six months has been extended several times to January 14, 2024.