Come November 12, Hong Kong will receive a jolt of star power and continental glamour when the Cannes Film Festival partners with K11 MUSEA to host the first Cannes Film Week in Asia, screening six movies from its 2019 selection, which will be open to the public.
Since its inception in 1946, the glitzy two-week fête held on the French Riviera has celebrated the best in international cinema. Now in its 72nd year, Cannes has grown into one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, and has launched the careers of renowned directors including Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Hong Kong’s very own Wong Kar-wai.
The Hong Kong extravaganza dubbed Festival de Cannes Film Week will be fittingly held at Adrian Cheng’s new seven-storey shopping centre that celebrates art and retail. “We want to take the spirit of the Festival de Cannes on a journey, reaching out to filmgoers from around the world, promoting and sharing works that we love,” Thierry Frémaux, director of Cannes Film Festival, tells Tatler Asia.
As part of an initiative to extend the festival’s international influence, the week-long roadshow originally started 10 years ago in Buenos Aires, and this will be Cannes’ first film week in Asia. “It was my encounter in Hong Kong with Adrian Cheng two years ago, and hearing his vision for K11 MUSEA that finally made this possible,” Frémaux says.
Adrian tells Tatler Asia: “With K11 MUSEA, our most ambitious project and one that’s close to my heart, it’s our goal to collaborate with world-class creatives and bring the most inspiring events to this charming waterfront location. Cannes Film Week at K11 MUSEA will be an important yet simple event that takes away the commercial elements, but focuses on the culture and creativity in the film industry.”
In the spirit of honouring creativity, attendees will also be able to attend three masterclasses taught by directors such as Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, two of the nine filmmakers who have won the Palme d’Or—the festival’s highest award—twice. “We hope to give the public a rare glimpse into the work of some of the world’s most important directors,” Frémaux says.
And while Cannes is an iconic French institution, the week is also a celebration of Hong Kong cinema. On opening night, the Croisette will be traded in for Victoria Dockside, where a red carpet overlooking the harbour will draw some of the most influential figures in the city’s storied film industry. “Hong Kong filmmakers like Johnnie To, Ann Hui and Tsui Hark have contributed to building the legend of Cannes, and we feel honoured to be welcomed here in return,” Frémaux says.
From passionate period dramas to indie buddy comedies, here are the six acclaimed films that will be shown at the festival