The main theme of the 18th Filmasia entitled Making Waves – Navigators of Hong Kong Cinema is to celebrate the last 25 years of Hong Kong cinema.
The selection of films is primarily intended to show the diversity and power of the new generation of filmmakers, but also more recent works of already established ones.
The diverse nature of young Hong Kong is introduced in the New Talents section which will present four utterly different new features: Intimate drama Mama’s Affair by the talented Kearen Pang, New Year’s crazy comedy Chili Laugh Story by Coba Cheung, Jun Li’s socio-critical drama Drifting and queer coming-of-age film The First Girl I Loved.
The Contemporary Films section will introduce new works of established filmmakers like Johnnie To, Yuen Woo-ping or Cheang Pou-soi, and, above all, Mabel Cheung.
Two of her films will be screened: the documentary To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self features the stories of young women in contemporary Hong Kong, and with An Autumn’s Tale the organizers want to revisit one of her most influential films from the late 1980s dealing with migration.
Here you can find the full program.
Have you ever been sent into the Earth’s orbit by a transcendent chili sauce? If not, do not worry, the New Year’s comedy Chili Laugh Story will certainly make up for your missing space experience.
The debuting director Coba Cheng has made an autobiographical story based on his own experience with selling The Chili Lab hot sauce. And he certainly did not sugarcoat his life story and make it look like a glorifying myth!
One day amid the pandemic, young Coba realizes that his mother’s chili sauce is beyond compare and he ventures to start a business based on a family recipe. At a first glance, Chili Laugh Story respects the conventions of New Year’s comedies – it is full of puns, pranks, expressive acting, and lessons on the power of family. But just at the right moment, it crosses genre boundaries and becomes a rather spicy social satire.
It is critical of insufficient government support during the pandemic, it mocks the desire to accumulate wealth, and denounces negative influence of large companies on small family businesses.
In his debut, Coba Cheng shows he has a gift to capture visually interesting moments – intergalactic chili sauce tasting is one of the film highlights – and nuanced social criticism.