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HKIFF41 to Open with Love Off the Cuff and Close with mon mon mon MONSTERS

14 March 2017 (Hong Kong) – The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) revealed today the line-up for the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) at its press conference held at MOKO. Besides the Opening Film Love Off the Cuff (2017) by director PANG Ho-cheung that was announced earlier, the festival will close with Giddens KO's sophomore directorial work mon mon mon MONSTERS (2017). Both films, in their World Premiere, will illuminate the festival which runs for 15 days from 11 to 25 April. With over 230 titles from 65 countries and regions, the lineup is as eclectic as ever, boasting 69 World, International and Asian Premieres.

Love Off the Cuff, to be opened on 11 April, is the long-awaited reunion of Jimmy and Cherie in PANG Ho-cheung's third installment of the romantic comedy series. The star-crossed Hong Kong couple, played by Miriam YEUNG and Shawn YUE, will deal with their entangled relationship in Taiwan. Across the shore, the noted Taiwanese writer/ director Giddens KO will bring his new high school bildungsroman, mon mon mon MONSTERS, to Hong Kong as HKIFF's closing film. Unlike his box-office hit You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011) that focuses on teenage love, his refreshing new work is a thriller that explores the dark side of human nature and social phenomena.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of director Edward YANG, HKIFF will present "Edward Yang, 10-year Commemoration", a retrospective of his seven feature films, including the newly restored classics Taipei Story (1985) and A Brighter Summer Day (1991). Hsiao Yeh, a long-time creative partner of the director, and Kaili PENG, YANG's widow, will attend the festival as guest speakers to meet the audience.

Several world-renowned directors will visit Hong Kong for screenings of their films. Cannes Best Director Olivier ASSAYAS will introduce his latest awarded film, Personal Shopper (2016), in HKIFF's Gala Premiere, together with his acclaimed biopic Carlos (2009). The director will conduct two master classes following the screenings to share his creative insight. Another distinguished Polish director, Agnieszka HOLLAND, who has just won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for her film Spoor (2017) at the Berlin International Film Festival, will lead the jury of the Firebird Young Cinema Competition. She will be joined by Thomas SOTINEL of prestigious French newspaper Le Monde, Colin GEDDES recently programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival, and local actor Anthony WONG. The Firebird Awards trophy is re-designed by WONG San Mun this year, giving a fresh image to this notable award.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, HKIFF will present a special programme, "Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema", showcasing twenty films that are highly representative of local cinema in the past two decades. The programme will kick off with the newly restored Made in Hong Kong (1997) directed by Fruit CHAN, an independent work that chronicles the exploits of lower-class teenagers. Thirteen other films from local veterans including Infernal Affairs (2002), Shaolin Soccer (2001), The Warlords (2007) etc. will be screened during the festival, while six films by young directors will be presented in August. All screenings are open to the public free of charge.

In addition, new films of Hong Kong cinema are also introduced, including the latest works of director Herman YAU: 77 Heartbreaks (2017), an urban love story featuring Charlene CHOI, and world premiere of The Sleep Curse (Director's Cut) (2017), a gruesome thriller featuring Anthony WONG's signature psychopathic performance.

Cinephiles can enjoy the priority to view a number of internationally acclaimed films in the HKIFF. These include The Salesman (2016), winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; Graduation (2016), for which Cristian MUNGIU won Cannes Best Director; at the Venice Film Festival, The Woman Who Left (2016), winner of Golden Lion for Best Film, Paradise (2016), for which Andrei KONCHALOVSKY won Silver Lion for Best Director, and Nocturnal Animals (2016), winner of Grand Jury Prize; at the Berlin International Film Festival, On Body and Soul (2017), winner of the Golden Bear Best Film, Bright Nights (2017), winner of Silver Bear Best Actor, I Am Not Your Negro (2016), winner of the Panorama Audience Award, and Ana, Mon Amour (2017), winner of the Silver Bear for Best Editing.

In celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation and National Canadian Film Day, HKIFF will present the Canadian film Window Horses (2016), a warm and witty animated feature directed by Ann Marie FLEMING, who will meet the audience at the screenings.

Japanese and South Korean films also take the spotlight at this year’s festival. The Awards Gala Night will be illuminated by the Asian premiere of The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (2017), directed by ISHII Yuga. Other outstanding films featured include Kiseki: Sobito of That Day (2017) by KANESHIGE Atsushi; Gukoroku - Traces of Sin (2016) by ISHIKAWA Kei; Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow (2016) by MORI Yoshitaka; and Will You Be There? (2016) by HONG Ji-young.

An “Audience Choice Award” is newly added this year, with the support from premium sponsor Hearts On Fire. Audiences who vote for their favorite film have a chance to enter into a lucky draw and win a prize worth HK$10,000.

A full list of HKIFF41 selections is available at www.hkiff.org.hk. The HKIFF41 will be held from 11 to 25 April 2017. Tickets for the public can be booked online at www.hkiff.org.hk and all URBTIX outlets from 17 March, 10am.

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