Magazine article Screen International

HAF Profiles 2014

Magazine article Screen International

HAF Profiles 2014

Article excerpt

Profiles of six projects from the 12th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).A Nail Clipper Romance

Dir Jason Kwan

Project's country of origin Hong Kong

Hong Kong DoP Jason Kwan is set to make his directorial debut on A Nail Clipper Romance, starring Chinese-Canadian actor Shawn Dou.

The story is based on The Nail Clipper Monster, the pioneering microfilm produced by maverick film-maker Pang Ho Cheung's Making Film Productions in collaboration with Samsung and Sina, which achieved more than 400 million hits within two months of its online launch in 2010.

Unlike its inspiration, which is more of a serious drama, the new project is a romantic comedy with a light-hearted plot. Dou, who made his acting debut in Zhang Yimou's 2010 Under The Hawthorn Tree, plays a womanising young man from Honolulu's Chinatown whose life is turned upside down after falling for a mysterious woman with an unusual appetite, who wants to open a restaurant that serves nail clippers.

Filming will take place in Hawaii. "A Chinese story is not necessarily set in a Chinese region. Hawaii has a 4.7% Chinese-speaking population but hardly any Chinese films have been set there. I believe this will be a refreshing experience for our audience," said Kwan.

The screenplay is by Luk Yee Sum, whose writing credits include Pang's box-office hits Love In The Buff and Vulgaria. Both were shot by Kwan and produced by Pang and his partner Subi Liang. The pair serve as producers of the new project.

Kwan has built up a large portfolio, from music videos and TV commercials to films, over the past two decades. His other recent work as DoP includes Cold War, As The Light Goes Out and Pang's Aberdeen, which opens this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival.

WY Wong

Producers Pang Ho Cheung, Subi Liang

Production company Making Film Productions

Budget $4.9m

Finance raised to date $3m from Making Film Productions

Contact Subi Liang subi@making-film.comDance Of Death

Dir Hitoshi Kitagawa

Project's country of origin Japan

Japanese director Hitoshi Kitagawa is in pre-production with his HAF project Dance Of Death. The story follows a man who, 30 years after murdering his love rival, brings his wife and daughter to the village Bon festival, declaring that he will dance unto death to atone for the crime.

"I was born as the son of a Buddhist priest and have been constantly aware of death since childhood. At some point in my life, I became obsessed with the idea that the most beautiful way to die is to prove your love by death," says Kitagawa.

The director's previous films include Damn Life, which won the Grand Prize at Pia Film Festival and was in Busan's New Currents competition as well as Tokyo's Japanese Eyes section. His short, A Fallen Apple, played in Cannes.

Kitagawa says Dance Of Death will be in line with his previous films in the sense that "something beyond good and evil, and human sinful nature, will be portrayed". But this time he will also depict love through the body of a man dancing, which is both physically and visually captivating.

He adds that the film could be shot anywhere in the world. "I think it would be best if something typical of the region, such as historical landscape, local culture and residents' faces, add atmosphere to the film," he says.

Producer Akiko Yukawa, whose credits include Suite Dreams and A Fallen Apple, says they are looking for an appropriately charismatic dancer/actor, who is tough in body and spirit, and they are "not limited to Japan".

Production company and music ltd publishes music and produces films and videos such as Kazuhiko Ogura's Tokyo Komaotoshi.

Jean Noh

Producer Yukawa Akiko

Production company and music ltd

Budget $100,000

Finance raised to date $10,000 (from and music ltd)

Contact Yukawa Akiko yukawa@andmusic.co.jpHip Hop Kabul

Dir Fazila Amiri

Project's country of origin Afghanistan

Hip Hop Kabul is a documentary feature that tells of the struggles and dreams of Afghanistan's first female rapper, Paradise Sorouri. …

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