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HAF Adds 15 Works-in-Progress to Bumper Project Market Lineup

Leading Asian filmmakers including Chang Tso-Chi, Lav Diaz, Midi Z, Tan Chui Mui and Yang Chao are poised to make appearances next month at the Work-in-Progress section of the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) project market.

HAF organizers Thursday added 15 WIP projects, having previously selected 26 in-development projects and six genre film projects in the CAA China Genre Initiative.

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The 47-project HKIFF Industry Project Market will run March 11-13, alongside the 2024 edition of the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FilMart), which operates March 11-14..

Highlights include: “The Land is Our Navel,” directed by Zhang Zhongchen (“The White Cow”) and produced by Midi Z (director of 2019’s “Nina Wu” and the upcoming “The Unseen Sister”), depicting the surreal journey of a six-year-old girl and a ghost;

“The Wind is Unstoppable,” by Huo Meng (“Crossing the Border – Zhaoguan”), about small-town family life before China’s rural-urban migration; “Deep Quiet Room,” by Shen Ko-Shang, about a man unravelling the truth about his wife’s suicide, with a cast that includes Ariel Lin and Joseph Chang; “Heirloom,” an animated feature by director Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, which is period drama is set in Ahmedabad and is about a magical tapestry that immortalizes a family’s history; “Intimate Encounter,” by Chang Tso-Chi (“Thanatos, Drunk”) about a young man who goes back to live with his grandfather during the COVID-19 pandemic; and “Elapse,” by Zhang Hanyi (“Life After Life”), a project that attended both the HAF Film Lab and HAF IDP programs about a woman who returns home to re-establish a new family order through bird hunting.

Other titles include: “Montages of a Modern Motherhood,” the second feature by Oliver Chan (“Still Human”), about a new mother suffering from baby blues; Quentin Hsu’s feature debut, “Admission,” which centers on a couple determined to find the snitch who sabotages their six-year-old child’s admission to an elite school; and Asano Tadanobu-starring “Ravens,” by Mark Gill (“England is Mine” and Oscar-nominated short “The Voorman Problem”) which examines the tumultuous relationship between iconic Japanese photographer Fukase Masahisa and his muse, Wanibe Yoko.

“Yongle Palace,” directed by Nan Xin (“Go Photo Shooting”) and produced by Yang Chao (director of “Crosscurrent”), is an oddball comedy about a man who reluctantly helps his childhood friend-cum-creditor date an internet celebrity.

Zhang Zhongyu’s feature debut, “Green Persimmon,” is a drama about a former inmate and an emotionally broken woman who find solace in each other before reality hits.

Jiang Xiaoxuan’s feature debut, “To Kill a Mongolian Horse,” produced by Tan Chui Mui (director of “Barbarian Invasion”), is inspired by the true story of a herdsman whose dual life as a horseback performer runs parallel to the disintegration of the traditional way of life.

“The Way We Talk” by Adam Wong (Hong Kong indie hit “The Way We Dance”) revolves around three deaf young people who strive to unlock life’s potential.

Philippines veteran Lav Diaz will present “Kawalan,” which is about a local community that moves into deep jungle to avoid the invading Japanese during World War II.

“Diamonds in the Sand” is the narrative feature debut of documentary filmmaker Janus Victoria. It follows an ageing Japanese salaryman as he travels to Manila to escape dying alone and unnoticed. Lorna Tee (“Mrs K”) and Dan Villegas (“Fan Girl”) produce the picture as a Philippines-Japan-Malaysia co-production.

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