HAF Adds Work-in-Progress Titles – Variety

Fifteen additional work-in-progress films are set to join the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) that takes place next month alongside the FilMart rights market. They join 28 previously announced in-development projects.

The 21st edition of HAF runs March 13-15 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be the first physical, in-person edition of the project event since 2019. All the work-in-progress projects will take part in a public pitching session on the first day.

The work-in-progress selection skews heavily towards Chinese language titles, with three originating in Hong Kong and the majority of the others from mainland China.

Leading names attached to the selected work-in-progress titles include producers Stanley Kwan (“Centre Stage”), Mai Meksawan (“Manta Ray”) and Ram Krishna Pokharel (“The Red Phallus”). Emerging and established actors including Fish Liew, Austin Lin, Ma Chih-Hsiang, Matsuda Ryuhei, Wang Xuebing, Wu Kang-Ren, and Zu Feng grace various projects.

Kwan is on board as producer of Sasha Chuk’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” which tracks the struggles of two sisters who moved from Hunan to Hong Kong in the 1990s. It has a cast led by Wu Kang-Ren, Angela Yuen, and Chu Pak-him.

Meksawan is on board as producer of Patiparn Boontarig’s “Solids by the Seashore,” which follows a young Muslim woman who falls for a female activist-turned-visual artist in south Thailand.

Wang Xuebing (“The Pluto Moment”) stars as an actor who seeks help from a friend with extraordinary power to revive his career in “The Actor.” The film is produced by Zhou Yaowu and directed by Ma Xiang.

The two non-Chinese language projects are: “Guras,” by Saurav Rai, whose “Nimtoh’ Invitation” won the grand jury prize at The Mumbai Film Festival. It follows the mystical journey of a nine-year-old Nepali girl in search of her lost dog. Pokharel, a winner of a Sports Emmy Award, is the producer of “Who Were We?” by Tomina Tetsuya (“Blue Wind Blows”). The film explores the inexplicable love between a man and a woman with no memory of the past. The film stars Matsuda (“Before We Vanish”) and Komatsu Nana (“Moonlight Shadow”).

The HAF has seen several of its past projects enjoy high-profile recent attention. Liu Jian’s “Art College 1994” (from HAF 2018) has been selected for main competition at the upcoming Berlin festival. Another Chinese film Absence (HAF 2022) by Wu Lang will play in Berlin’s Encounter section. Burak Cevik’s “Forms of Forgetting” (HAF 2021) will have its world premiere in Berlin’s Forum section. And Yang Heng’s “Silent Ghosts” (HAF 2022) premiered last month the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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