Magazine article Screen International

Filmart 2016: HAF Profiles

Magazine article Screen International

Filmart 2016: HAF Profiles

Article excerpt

THE LADY IMPROPER

Dir Tsang Tsui Shan

Project's country of origin Hong Kong-China

Hong Kong director Tsang Tsui Shan cooks up an erotic combination in The Lady Improper through food and sexuality. When her sexless marriage fails, a virgin sets out to revitalise her father's Hong Kong-style restaurant. She encounters a cult chef who mixes his culinary senses with sexual awareness.

"Female desire is often suppressed in our seemingly open yet conservative society. We look into this taboo world of Asian women with a story filled with food, lust and desire," says Tsang.

Based on a true story, the screenplay is written by Link Sng, co-writer of several films by Singaporean director Jack Neo, including box-office hits Ah Boys To Men and most recently Long Long Time Ago.

Tsang was named best new director at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 for her second feature Big Blue Lake, which also won the Asian New Talent Jury Prix at Shanghai. Big Blue Lake was filmed in her home village Ho Chung in Sai Kung, which she says is a source of inspiration for her work. Her documentary Flowing Stories, also set in the village, won the best documentary award at South Taiwan Film Festival in 2014.

The producer is Polly Yeung, who produced Tsang's Scent, a Chinese-Korean romance starring Korea's Park Si-hoo. Yeung is also a regular collaborator with Hong Kong film-maker Jacob Cheung, having worked on A Battle Of Wits, Ticket and Rest On Your Shoulder. River Vision is Tsang's Hong Kong-based production company, while Fiction 9 is a Beijing-based company founded by Yeung, Lim Young Chien and Li Yun Fei.

* Producer Polly Yeung

* Production company River Vision

* Budget $1m

* Finance raised to date 10% (Fiction 9)

* Contact Polly Yeung rivervision.prod@gmail.com

SOLITUDE

Dir Madhu Mahankali

Project's country of origin India

Hyderabad-based film-maker Madhu Mahankali started to explore the theme of death in his short film The Journey, which played at Cannes in 2007. His latest feature project Solitude builds on this and will also consider the notions of loneliness, solitude and loss.

Solitude traces the spiritual journey of an old man as he loses his long-term companion of more than 50 years, and must come to terms with his new reality.

"Although the story has a lot of emotional elements attached to it, the film tries to focus on the philosophical journey of this old man, making it more universal," says Mahankali. "It will probe the spiritual bond that continues beyond death."

In development for just over a year and with the script now completed, Mahankali is seeking completion funding for the Telugu and Hindi-language film. Casting is underway and shooting locations have been secured in the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Lucknow and Varanasi. The director's previous work includes advertising, documentaries, feature and short films.

Mahankali's company Dhriti Media is the primary producer with Telugu producer Raj Kandukuri's Dharmapatha Creations on board as equity partners and Balwanth Singh of Kauphy Talkies picking up marketing and distribution costs of both the Telugu and Hindi versions.

* Producers Madhu Mahankali, Roopa Devi Mahankali

* Production company Dhriti Media

* Budget $340,000

* Finance raised to date $60,000 ($25,000 from Dharmapatha Creations, $25,000 from Dhriti Media and $10,000 from Kauphy Talkies)

* Contact Madhu Mahankali mmkali8@gmail.com

THE IMITATOR

Dir YC Tom Lee

Project's country of origin Taiwan

Crime thriller The Imitator opens with a bank heist that takes place using the stolen gun of a cop who was gunned down just days earlier. In the aftermath, the police are shocked to discover the crime is a direct imitation of Taiwan's first ever armed robbery, which took place more than 30 years ago.

"The concept of someone imitating a crime has always intrigued me because either the imitator is simply a copycat paying sadistic homage, or has a deeper meaning and purpose behind it," says Taiwan director YC Tom Lee. …

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