Making films is not as glamorous as people imagine. By contrast, it is work that involves taking one shot at a time, editing one frame at a time and, in the end, selling one ticket at a time. You have to put your hands on everything to create a little surviving room. It’s certainly a long wait and a test of patience – one step at a time.
Fortunately Hong Kong is a developed city and is more tolerant towards non-mainstream films, allowing opportunities to share one’s spirits with the audience. It’s relatively difficult in China, where, in addition to the beast-like political control, the market is dominated by big productions.
Yet, making films is my favorite thing to do. I remember having to shoot in Guangzhou one early morning, I was hurrying towards the Sheung Shui railway station in a taxi. The driver, seeing all my equipment, asked if I was taking photos. I said yes. Perhaps an enthusiast, he asked where. I said Guangzhou. All envious, he said: “Wow… have fun!” I got off, the word “fun” lingering in my mind, realizing that my work is “fun” to others, I felt fortunate.
Cheung King-wai, born in Hong Kong in 1968, graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts before attending City University New York to study music, philosophy and film.
Cheung is a rare Hong Kong director who is devoted to documentaries. His work, portraying social issues from a humanistic perspective, had captured public attention. Farewell Hong Kong (2001), his 10-minute graduation project that examines the Hong Kong Reunification, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2008, Cheung’s first feature-length documentary, All’s Right with the World (2007) was included in the Humanitarian Award competition of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. His second documentary feature, KJ (2009), was shown in Hong Kong theaters for a record-setting eight months. It set another record at the Golden Horse Awards, winning the prizes for Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Sound Effect, unprecedented in Golden Horse history for a documentary. The film also made history by becoming the first documentary nominated for Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards, where it was nominated also for Best Editing, Best Sound Design and Best New Director, winning the last one for Cheung. The director was also honored by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council as one of the Best Artists of 2009.
Cheung’s third documentary feature, One Nation, Two Cities (2011), was chosen as part of the Humanitarian Award competition of the Hong Kong International Film Festival and was shown in theaters for a run of five months.
Cheung’s work is not limited only to documentaries. In 2001, his script Connie’s Apple won an award from Mythical Films Creative Development Fund. He is the writer for Ann Hui’s Night and Fog (2009) and had directed shorts that were shown in international film festivals.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||One Nation, Two Cities|
||All's Right With The World|