26-28 October 2020

23rd Asian Project Market

2020 Project

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Project Castle Peak No. 5
Director Rita¸ Nga Shu HUI
Country Taiwan / Hong Kong¸ China
Producer Arden¸ Ching I TENG
Production Company Mirror Stage Films
Writer Lancelot¸ Chan Ming CHI
Genre Drama / Fantasy
Running time 120′
Project StatusScript Development
Director’s Profile
Rita, Nga Shu Hui graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Her short film, Ah Ming (1996), gained wide attention and won the Distinguished Award at the Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards in 1996. In 2001, she tried theatre work for the first time with Tango of Water Sleeves and her first dance video work, Chionanthus Retusus (2001). In 2008, she finished her first feature film with ADC funding, Dead Slowly (2009), which was shown in the New Currents at Busan International Film Festival 2009 and at Hong Kong Asian Independent Film Festival 2009. In 2013, her second feature film, Keening Woman (2013), was officially selected for A Window on Asian Cinema at Busan International Film Festival 2013. Her third feature film, Pseudo Secular (2016), was selected as opening film at South Taiwan Film Festival 2016 and was selected for the Waves at Torino Film Festival 2016. Her fourth feature film, In the Wild (2017), was selected at South Taiwan Film Festival 2018 in the Experimental category.
Producer’s Profile
Arden, Ching I Teng has been working in film for over 7 years, and has accumulated extensive experience in production, project development, and marketing, including short films, feature films, documentaries and TV drama series. In 2013, she began her film career with eminent Taiwanese producer, Yeh Jufeng, on feature film, Our Times (Yu Shan Chen, 2015), and documentary, Dream Ocean (Wang Wei-hsiang, 2014). In 2016, she dedicated herself to production and project development. She co-established Mirror Stage Films as the head of the production department. Her filmography includes Golden Horse Film Academy short films Fish Tank (2016) and Hustle Couple (2016) which screened at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2016; Flow with Tide (2017), This is My Rifle. This is My Gun (2017) and feature film Gatao 2: Rise of the King Cheng-Kuo Yen, 2018). She then worked in projection development as production supervisor on Netflix sci-fi thriller series Til Death Do Us Part (2019). Mirror Stage Films is a company that acquires, distributes, develops and produces outstanding works; constantly pushing and redefining the boundaries of cinematic possibilities. This principle drives Mirror Stage Films’ operations and translates into the films we produce and develop and to our approach to acquisitions/distribution. Mirror Stage cooperates with a new generation of Taiwanese directors to develop and produce their works as well as structure international sales and financing. At present, we have distributed, among others, Small Talk (Huang Hui-Chen, 2016), which won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at Berlin International Film Festival 2017 and Best Documentary at Taipei Film Festival 2017; Father to Son (Hsiao Ya-Chuan, 2018) selected for the Big Screen Competition at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 and the International New Talent Competition at Taipei Film Festival 2018; and Boluomi (Lau Kek-huat, 2019), which had its world premiere in the New Currents at Busan International Film Festival 2019 and was shortlisted for Best New Director at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2019.
Synopsis
British Hong Kong – located between two strong colonial powers. Legendary swordsman, Tsz Yeung, lives in seclusion with his apprentice, an indigenous Taiwanese girl, Yoko, in a claw machine arcade. Yoko learns from a member of the underground resistance, Doggy, that Tsz Yeung is regarded as the spiritual leader of the resistance, and their fight against the head of the secret service, Taibo – an old friend of Tsz Yeung who now lives a totally different life.
A smuggler’s ship from Taiwan arrives in Victoria Harbour. Businessman, DaBao, meets Tsz Yeung’s group by chance and is dragged unexpectedly into a plan to rescue members of the underground resistance, a plot which is later discovered by Taibo. DaBao is arrested, and Red Mansion, the headquarters of the underground resistance, is besieged by the Police.
Doggy reveals his true identity during a brutal fight in Red Mansion. Soon after, a battle between the old companions, Taibo and Tsz Yeung, occurs. The protesters lose and flee to Castle Peak, known as a forbidden place of mysterious power. The police follow them to the mountain where both camps become stuck and start to experience illusions intertwining with their haunted colonial memories…
Director’s Statement
The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement, which erupted in June 2019 and continues to the present, could be interpreted as a martial arts story. In Chinese culture, martial arts were a typical means by which to resist oppression and tyranny. What connects Hong Kong and Taiwan is that, at different times, people in both places have formed "mobs."
In Hong Kong, protests were fierce with the "HKCU Siege" and "PolyU Siege" in November of 2019. With a strong desire to defend our homeland, we resist external aggression, and proclaim the importance of a land and country that deserves our life-long struggle. In the history of aboriginal Taiwanese struggle against Japanese colonialism, the same faces and emotions have all appeared. People in both Taiwan and Hong Kong have formed mobs one after another and will continue to do so in the future.
The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement revealed that both Hong Kong and Taiwan face the oppression of the communist regime. In Taiwan, there is also a lot of grassroots solidarity. The Taiwanese even updated their understanding of reality with votes in the presidential election in January 2020. Looking at current local film and television work in Hong Kong and Taiwan, it is rare to see work which deals directly with their colonial past or the threat of Chinese control, and the documentary form is also in its infancy. It is also rare to see the situation in Hong Kong explored and discussed directly from the perspective of real Taiwanese history.
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