HAF Film Lab Picks Three Winners

The 5th HAF Film Lab draws to a successful conclusion today with Frankie Lee, Yeung Leung-chuen and Tang Peiyan taking home its three awards.


Selected from a field of 12 shortlisted in-development projects, script mentors Mabel Cheung, Yang Chao, and Lu Fei-I will provide consultation to these emerging filmmakers for Kapok, The Only Way Out, and A Better Tomorrow, respectively. 


Additionally, these projects will automatically enter the 21st Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF21), scheduled from 13 to 15 March 2023, in conjunction with the 27th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART).  


HAF21 has begun accepting submissions for in-development fictional projects until 31 October.  It will accept submissions for in-progress fictional projects between 1 November and 16 December.


Organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s Industry Office, HAF Film Lab targets to support young Chinese language filmmakers in the region by offering a series of open lectures, training programmes, and one-on-one consultation sessions.  The initiative’s fifth edition, held online over five days from 24 to 28 August, received over 150 submissions from 14 countries and regions.


This year, HAF Film Lab’s open lectures covered project creation, production and budgeting, editing, cinematography, art direction, colourisation and international co-production by a host of industry veterans, including Tsai Ming-Liang, Nai An, Yeh Ju-Feng, Yu Lik-wai Liu Qing, Mary Stephen, Isabelle Glachant, Mary Gu, Felix Tsang, Jaco Wong, Wang Jing, and Julien Ezanno.  The one-on-one consultation sessions were specific to each shortlisted project’s production plan and screenplay.


“We hope to broaden the industry know-how of all participating filmmakers through HAF Film Lab and to help polish their projects so that they could have a better appeal,” HKIFFS Industry Office Director Jacob Wong explained.


The 5th HAF Film Lab’s three award winners are:

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1.       Kapok (Hong Kong)

Director: Frankie Lee

Producer: Fruit Chan

Scriptwriter: Frankie Lee, Delon Siu


Mabel Cheung on her selection: “A story about a woman who is overwhelmed by work and familial duties, decides to return to her hometown and finds her original aspiration. This is exactly the hope of Hongkongers nowadays. As a person who has struggled to survive in the city, I could help the director find a peaceful paradise together”.


2.       The Only Way Out (Hong Kong)

Director: Yeung Leung-chuen

Producer: Jun Li

Scriptwriter: Yeung Leung-chuen


Lu Fei-I for his selection: “A story of courage, healing and redemption.  Also, a story about people who are in search of a way out”.


3.       A Better Tomorrow (Mainland China)

Director:  Tang Peiyan

Producer: Anthony Chen

Scriptwriter: Tang Peiyan


Yang Chao on his selection: “The director writes an authentic piece of a group of believable characters. He avoids all the formulaic drama in teen films that we usually see. The adversity faced by the characters is well presented, culminating in the growth of the characters”.