Heiward Mak Hei-yan was born in 1984 in Hong Kong and grew up in Tai Wai in the New Territories. After graduating from Sha Tin Government Secondary School, she opting to pursue a diploma in graphics design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, driven by an interest in drawing. After completing the course in 2003, Mak worked as a graphic artist before enrolling in the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. Her final year project, Lovers’ Lover, won the Gold Award of the Open Category at the Hong Kong Independent Film and Video Awards as well as the Best New Director Award at the 9th International Film Festival Hanover (2007). In 2006, Mak was recommended by the School of Creative Media to take part in the writing of the screenplay for Men Suddenly in Black 2, for which she also served as assistant director and directed the film’s “making-of” feature.
In 2008, actor-producer Eric Tsang gave Mak the opportunity to direct the Hong Kong version of the Taiwanese film, Winds of September, which became High Noon. Mak developed her screenplay, about a group of socially alienated youths, with her cast of young actors. High Noon became one of the recommended films of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society and was nominated for Best New Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards as well as competing in the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival. Only 23 years old when she made the film, Mak became one of the youngest feature film directors in Hong Kong. Mak followed that in 2010 with Ex, which was selected as the closing film of the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 47th Golden Horse Film Awards in Taiwan. In 2011, Mak collaborated with Edmond Pang Ho-cheung on the screenplay of Love in a Puff, which won the Best Screenplay at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards. Mak’s most recent directorial effort is Diva (2012).
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