Pioneering Hong Kong director Ann Hui honored for her life’s work
Hui, the first female director to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, is widely regarded as a pioneer of the southern city’s New Wave of the 1970s and 1980s.
“Once you reach a certain age, you have to receive lifetime achievement awards,” the 64-year-old joked in an interview with AFP ahead of the ceremony in Hong Kong’s harbor-side convention center. “But I can’t afford to retire, so it puts me in a difficult situation. I’m feeling really honored though.”
Hui has churned out classic after classic in more than 30 years as a filmmaker, in a career which began with television dramas for Hong Kong station TVB and bloomed with her first feature film, “The Secret,” in 1979.
Born in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province to a Japanese mother and Chinese father, Hui lived in Macau until she was 5 and then moved with her family to Hong Kong. She studied at the London International Film School before returning to Hong Kong to start her career, an experience loosely retold in one of her most important works, “Song of the Exile” from 1990.
The film tells a story of disorientation and loss of identity as a young Chinese woman leaves her studies in London and comes back to Hong Kong to learn about her Japanese mother’s past and her own childhood.
Her most recent work, last year’s “A Simple Life”, received worldwide acclaim with its heart-warming tale about the relationship between a young Hong Kong man and the servant who raised him.
Deanie Ip won the Best Actress Award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival for her role as the loyal servant. AFP