The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels (HKETO, Brussels) and Create Hong Kong are supporting the 54th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, which is taking place in Sitges, Spain, from 7 to 17 October 2021.
Seven Hong Kong films are being screened. Two are acclaimed recent productions, namely Soi Cheang's "Limbo" (2021), which won the Purple Mulberry award at the 23rd Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, in July 2021, and Chan Kin-long's "Hand Rolled Cigarette" (2020), a project of the First Feature Film Initiative that won the White Mulberry award at the same festival. They are being presented as part of the Sitges official selection. Five Hong Kong films from the 1980s and 1990s are being screened as a "Black Magic Retrospective": Ho Meng-hua's "Evil Black Magic" (1992), Patrick Kong's "Curse" (1988), Titus Ho's "Red Spell Spells Red" (1983) and To Man-bo's "Devil Sorcery" (1987) and "Bloody Sorcery" (1986).
Speaking at a reception hosted by HKETO, Brussels in Sitges on 10 October, the Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Ms Grace Li, thanked the organiser for its long co-operation in presenting Hong Kong films to Spanish and international audiences.
Ms Li said Hong Kong films are the strongest testimony to the lively creativity and unique culture of Hong Kong. She remarked that Hong Kong films embrace many different genres, but said the fantastic, thriller and black comedy genres the Sitges festival celebrates remain firm favourites, and there are some good Hong Kong examples of those in the "Black Magic Retrospective".
She underlined that "Hand Rolled Cigarette" was a project of the Hong Kong Government's First Feature Film Initiative, which seeks to identify and nurture talents by providing financial support for young directors to make their first commercial feature films. The Initiative, now in its seventh year, has identified and provided a platform for 19 new directors so far, bringing many quality films to audiences.
Founded in 1968, the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is the world's leading fantasy film festival, attracting 200 000 visitors in 2019. It screens films related to the fantastic genre, including action and adventure movies and black comedies, with a special emphasis on thrillers.