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Hong Kong International Film Festival: What Not to Miss!

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Hong Kong International Film Festival is upon us again, and tons of the best Asian and World indie films that wouldn’t usually get distribution in Hong Kong will be played for ticket-holders… For the first time, the SIFF (Summer International Film Festival) is aiming to attract a younger audience, screening films suitable for children in an attempt to create future film buffs out of our little ones, and in fun venues like the Hong Kong Science Museum. You can buy tickets from Urbtix now, and be quick as they’re selling out fast! Here’s the breakdown of the movies that little critics are sure to enjoy…

A Cat in Paris (Une vie de chat)

Dir: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli France/Belgium 2010 Colour 65min

Dino the cat leads a double life. By day he’s a pet to Zoe, a young girl that has plunged herself into silence following her father’s murder at the hands of the gangster Costa. By night he’s the right-hand man to Nico, a kindly burglar. Zoe’s mother Jeanne is also a dedicated cop, and when Dino brings the young girl a stolen bracelet, events conspire to bring the four together over the course of one adventurous evening. A Cat in Paris is a thrilling and mature animated mystery that unfurls in the alleys and on the rooftops of the French capital, rendered in vivid 2D graphics that will charm viewers of all ages.

Ninja Kids!!! (Nintama Rantaro)

Dir: Miike Takashi  Japan  2011  Colour  100min

An instant hit when it first aired in 1993, Japanese anime Nintama Rantaro has rocked children’s TV with its unique blend of quirky humor and ninja exotica. Adapting the classic for live action cinema, Miike continues the kinetic thrills of 13 Assassins with the story of Rantaro, who is sent to the Ninja Academy by his parents. Armed with spikes and grenades he blunders his way in a series of (mis)adventures that culminate in saving his schoolmate from a mysterious gang of assassins… Packed with breathtaking action and bubbly young actors, this wacky comedy will fascinate viewers of all ages.


Dir: Céline Sciamma France 2011 Colour 81min

Céline Sciamma’s directorial debut Water Lily showcases her outstanding sensitivity towards youth and sexuality. In her follow-up Tomboy, this year’s Berlin Teddy Jury winner, she further examines gender politics by focusing on Laure, the angel-faced 10-year-old who loves sports and getting rough-and-tumble. But Laure is a girl, though she passes herself as a boy with ease. Soon, her neighbor Lisa begins to develop a crush on Laure. But as the summer wears on, her ruse threatens to unravel… Beautifully observed and convincingly acted, Tomboy is light-hearted yet packs a punch.

You Are the Apple of My Eye

Dir: Giddens  2011  Taiwan  Colour  109min

Semi-autobiographical debut from prolific Taiwanese writer Giddens Ko. High school bad boy Ko-Teng likes to have masturbation contests in class and can’t care less about campus belle and model student Chia-Yi. When the homeroom teacher orders her to keep an eye on the cocky rebel, their conflicting values spark off a bittersweet chemistry that continues even after they part ways for college… Bypassing soppy clichés and punctuated with cheeky humor, this is a strikingly relevant work about youthful love and its unmistakable ambivalence.

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