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Brief History

The growth of Tai Fung, exclusive distributor of Fujifilm film motion picture film in Hong Kong since 1963, coincides with the achievements of the Hong Kong film industry.

With the exodus of talent from China in the 1940s and ‘50s, the British colony of Hong Kong developed into a filmmaking hub for the Chinese-speaking world. In 1963, the government passed a law requiring English subtitling of all Cantonese and Mandarin language films made in Hong Kong, opening the door to the future popularity of Hong Kong movies beyond China. Chinese subtitles were included as well for the benefit of speakers of different Chinese dialects.

In the 1960s-1970s, Hong Kong began producing quality kung fu and wuxia films, spurred by the samurai imports from Japan. Cantonese comedies, particularly those of the Hui brothers, became popular, drawing back the local audience who had left the cinema for television.

The 1980s and early 1990s were the glory years of Hong Kong cinema. Action films by stars like Jackie Chan and gangster flicks directed by John Woo brought the industry acclaim in Asia – Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan – as well as further a-field in the West. Lavish marital arts productions starring Brigitte Lin and comedies by Stephen Chow were also widely received.

A new wave of younger art-house directors such as Stanley Kwan, Johnnie To and Wong Kar-wai allowed Hong Kong cinema to achieve greater critical acclaim. In these heady years, Hong Kong ranked as the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Bollywood and Hollywood) and the second largest film exporter.

Despite a decade of decline from the mid-1990s – fuelled by overproduction and a resulting drop in film quality, video piracy in East Asia and the Asian financial crisis – Hong Kong cinema still has cache beyond its shores. Hong Kong talent has been lured to Hollywood, Hong Kong films are feted at international film festivals and big budget joint Hong Kong-mainland China productions provide a model for future growth.

Landmark Hong Kong productions shot on Tai Fung-supplied Fujifilm:

A Better Tomorrow (1986), directed by John Woo, produced by Tsui Hark and starring Chow Yun-fat, Ti Lung and Leslie Cheung

The Bride with White Hair (1993), directed by Ronny Yu, produced by Raymond Wong, starring Brigitte Lin and Leslie Cheung

Hero (2002), directed by Zhang Yimou, produced by Bill Kong, cinematography by Christopher Doyle, starring Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi and Donnie Yen

The Medallion (2003), directed by Gordon Chan, produced by Alfred Chan and Jackie Chan, cinematography by Arthur Wong, starring Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani and Julian Sands

2046 (2004), directed, co-produced and written by Wong Kar-wai, cinematography by Christopher Doyle, starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau, Chang Chen and Maggie Cheung

Lust, Caution (2007), directed by Ang Lee, produced by Ang Lee and Bill Kong, starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Tang Wei, Joan Chen and Wang Lee-hom

© 2010 Tai Fung (Hong Kong) Ltd.