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Special screening of Ann Hui’s “A Simple Life” in Toronto

Posted in: Press Releases

April 11th, 2012

“A Simple Life”, a Hong Kong drama film which has swept many international awards since late last summer, was presented yesterday  to the Toronto audience in a special screening co-hosted by the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto.The event, held at the AMC Theatres at Yonge & Dundas, was attended by over 400 people. It was supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Toronto and the film’s distributor, China Lion Film Distribution.

A question-and-answer session, conducted by Professor Bart Testa of the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, and the Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and film critic of Fairchild Radio, Miss Alice Shih, was held immediately after the screening.

“A Simple Life”, directed by Ann Hui and starring Andy Lau and Deanie Ip, won four awards at the 68th Venice International Film Festival last September, including the Volpi Cup for Best Actress and the Equal Opportunities Award for Hui. Its long list of accolades includes prizes at the 48th Golden Horse Awards for Best Director, Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress, and the 6th Asian Film Awards’ People’s Choice Award for My Favourite Actor. Hui also won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th Asian Film Awards.

The latest recognition “A Simple Life” gained was at the Okinawa International Movie Festival on March 31. It was awarded the Peace Category Uminchu Award Grand Prix and the judges’ special award – the Golden Shisa Award. 

Speaking at the opening of the special screening, the Director of the HKETO in Toronto, Ms Gloria Lo, said that Hong Kong films have gained a high reputation internationally. “A Simple Life’s crowning achievement highlights the continuing success of Hong Kong’s film industry, which is a pillar of our creative industry, one of the six industries being actively promoted in Hong Kong,” she said.  

Ms Lo also introduced to the audience the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, a leading entertainment industry gathering held in Asia’s world city. This year it featured nine multimedia events, including the 36th Hong Kong International Film Festival and the 16th edition of the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART). 

 ”This year FILMART had a record of 648 exhibitors from over 30 countries and was attended by more than 5,700 buyers. We hope that more companies from Canada will participate in the event in the future,” Ms Lo added.

Based on real people and events, “A Simple Life” tells about a heartwarming relationship between a young master of a big family, Roger (Lau), and the servant of the family who raised him, Ah Tao (Ip). The film is an eloquent manifestation of director Hui’s aptitude for telling heartfelt tales of everyday life.  

Ip’s convincing and emotional portrayal of Ah Tao has put not only Ip but also Hong Kong cinema in the international spotlight. “A Simple Life” will be released in selected AMC theatres in Toronto starting from April 13.

From left: the Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Toronto, Mr Stephen Siu; the Institute Manager and Project Officer of the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto, Ms Eileen Lam; Professor Bart Testa of the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto; the Interim Executive Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Ms Alka Sharma; the Director of the HKETO in Toronto, Ms Gloria Lo; the General Manager of China Lion Film Distribution (Canada), Miss Hazel Woo; and the Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and film critic of Fairchild Radio, Miss Alice Shih, pose for a group photo at a special screening for the Hong Kong drama film "A Simple Life" yesterday.

From left: the Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Toronto, Mr Stephen Siu; the Institute Manager and Project Officer of the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto, Ms Eileen Lam; Professor Bart Testa of the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto; the Interim Executive Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Ms Alka Sharma; the Director of the HKETO in Toronto, Ms Gloria Lo; the General Manager of China Lion Film Distribution (Canada), Miss Hazel Woo; and the Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and film critic of Fairchild Radio, Miss Alice Shih, pose for a group photo at a special screening for the Hong Kong drama film "A Simple Life" yesterday.

Chinese version on next page.

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