Inaugural HKIFF – CAA China Genre Initiative Sets First Projects

The inaugural Hong Kong International Film Festival Industry – CAA China Genre Initiative (HCG) has set its first projects which will be showcased during the 28th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market alongside the 22nd Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum running from March 11-13.

As part of the program designed to foster Chinese-language genre projects, CAA China will award $20,000 each to two projects to support their development, with customized guidance from mentors. CAA China may board the winning projects later by entering into script development agreements.

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Below are details on the six projects selected:

Call of Lobster (comedy/drama), director: Yin Chen-Hao 
Yung-Fu, a dedicated lobster farmer, has always held onto the belief that he would eventually succeed. One day, a news story catches his eye: A North Korean official has been executed for failing to farm lobsters for Kim Jong-Un. Yung-Fu knows his time has come — seeing this as a great opportunity to make a name for himself, and build a lobster empire, he will bring his lobster farming techniques to North Korea. Yung-Fu ignores all warnings and decides to take the risk. Little does he know that the journey back home will be even more treacherous than his initial venture.

Countdown to the End (action thriller), director: Wang Hao 
David, a Chinese security guard working at a shopping mall in Southeast Asia, receives a mysterious phone call that initiates a deadly game. The caller vows to commit numerous crimes over the next few hours. During the game, no one is allowed to leave the mall or call the police. Now David must find the terrorising caller. A successful capture will not only result in the saving of many innocent lives, but also David’s own redemption.

Dying Fire (comedy/thriller), director: Gao Linyang
Intending to recover his father’s medical compensation and his wages from the accountant Qin Hong, Ma Baoguo, a miner, accidentally breaks into the town’s rural credit cooperative bank. When Ma conceives the idea of robbery, he unexpectedly finds out about the bank’s forgery. He and Qin thus improvise on the opportunity to cheat back their own money from the mine manager.

Hyperinflation (thriller), director: Yan Bing
Archaeologist Ji Zhou finds herself deep in debt when her husband mysteriously disappears. Delving into the matter, she descends into the complex world of high-stakes finance that left her husband battered and bruised. A series of accidents bring her to a close brush with death, while all evidences point towards her husband to be the prime suspect. Meanwhile, her in-laws appear to be covering up the identity and cause of death of Wang, an ancient corpse laid in the noble Southern Song tomb she’s excavating. Will Ji escape a fate mirroring Wang’s?

Reunion Diaries (comedy/romance), director: Rowena Loh
Against the festive backdrop of Lunar New Year, this romcom drama weaves four stories across four cities as the intertwined characters navigate relationship complexities. In New York, 1990s Mandopop icon Alex embarks on an unexpected self-discovery journey while seeking his longlost love. En route to Singapore, Chloe, grieving her father’s loss, meets a stranger who unravels years of emotional baggage. In Taipei, Si Hui’s marriage to best friend Wei Qian’s younger brother faces a test. Jia Lu, a Taiwanese woman working in Hong Kong clashes with a sharp-tongued food delivery rider, who eventually helps regain her footing.

Scriptures and Poetry (comedy/romance), director: Du Junlin
Provoked by his wife, Chen Jing, who says he knows little about love, 64-year-old director Lin Nianjing decides to make a romance movie. He hits the road with longtime friend and seasoned screenwriter Du Dusi, making a trip back to Guangzhou from Hong Kong. The journey, peppered with comical and heartfelt encounters, turns out to be more than a search for movie inspiration. As the pieces of the past slowly come together, the image of Chen Jing becomes ever more vivid before them.

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