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| Thursday, March 02, 2006

This year is the 30th anniversary of Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and Andy Lau is the 30th HKIFF's 30th anniversary honor ambassador. Being the ambassador, Andy hope that the film festival would be communalise and the Hong Kong government would not close the "water tap". He feel that Hong Kong's filmmakers always looked forward and support foreign film festivals and never feel the importance of HKIFF.

Andy attended the HKIFF press conference yesterday and presented "movie crazy passes" as the passes can be used to watch any movies within the film festival. Andy would like to watch Mainland China's Could be Beautiful. Andy lead 100-strong "volunteer army" formed by university students to say the pledge their mission to promote HKIFF. When Andy went onstage, one of the female student appeared excited and the compere quipped that she could be crying soon. Andy then quipped: "Don't tell me that she feel that I'm too thin!"

The HKIFF will start from 4 April till 19 April, Isabella and Election 2 will be the opening movies, while Candy and Snow Cake will be the closing films.

Onstage, Andy discuss about the biggest challenge that HKIFF, he says: "The film festivals in Pusan (Korea) , Tokyo (Japan) and Bangkok (Thailand) were well-organised, there is a certain influence in Asian film festivals. HKIFF had been held for 30 years, the biggest problem lies with our finance. Maybe the financial support that we got is just one-sixth or one-tenth of what they got."

Andy did in-directly said that the government support to film festival is diminishing as they could only try hard to communalise the film festival. As the ambassador, he is also helping out to look for sponser. He says: "We need a budget of $70 - 100 million for a film festival, we have yet reach that figure!" I hope the Hong Kong government will not tied up their wallet and don't even support their own people, it's like the mother won't take care of her children, how would your neighbour look at you? When asked if he will seek help from God of Fortune, he says: "I did pray him, whether will help will discuss later."

Andy pointed out that he always hope for an outdoor premiere at Victoria Park but surely the request will be turned down due to traffic and environmental problems. Some reporters pointed out that rock concerts were held at Victoria Park before, Andy quipped: "Maybe we aren't rock enough, or the people doing rock are more fierce. How they did it, I'm not sure."

Andy also pointed out that everyone was more focus on foreign film festivals, when asked if he feel that Hong Kong filmmakers don't even support their own film festival? Andy says: "You can say it this way, but can be said as giving weak support. We should support it together! You're willing to take a jet plane to support foreign film festival, why I don't see you take a car ride to support us."

He added: "I hope that the people of movie industry will continue to attend different film festivals and feel that winning an award overseas will do themselves proud, I do hope that foreigner will feel proud coming to Hong Kong, that's my aim."

news from: SingPao, Apple Daily News, SingPao, MingPao, Oriental Daily News, China Daily Times, Wei Wen Po, Ta Kung Pao, Sina.com