The future of Hong Kong cinema

When you talk about the cinema in Hong Kong, familiar names and faces immediately come to mind – martial artists like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Donnie Yen or stars from the gambling or crime film era like Chow Yun-fat, Stephen Chow, Andy Lau, Tony Leung , Louis Koo or Sean Lau.

But like the industry around the world, there is a new generation of talent waiting in the wings, so here are four young people we are sure to hear a lot from in the not too distant future: model / actress Angela Yuen, actors Tony Wu and Kevin Chu and director / actor / singer Hang Jai, all of whom talk about the recent projects they’ve been working on – and where their film careers head from here.

The future of Hong Kong cinema

ANGELA YUEN

Cinema in Hong Kong
A DRESS MAGDA BUTRYM AT NET-A-PORTER

Tell us about your breakout role.

In August and September I had a role in a movie with a new director. I played a single mother living with children who faced all the hardships during the Covid period. The plot had a lot of scenes that showed me struggling with my kids and not being a responsible mother, which I found very interesting.

What has been your biggest project so far?

So far, but I don’t want to measure the project just by its size or its commerciality.

What are you working on now

I’m working on another film with another director and the story is about the family. In the movie, the mother doesn’t want her daughter to get married just to get a divorce, and the whole family hates her for it. There are many scenes based on our daily issues, family relationships, and how they reflect reality.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

My dream co-star is Hong Kong actor Tse Kwan-ho. I always go to see how he acts, even on stage. As for dream directors, I would say all good and talented directors.

What’s next? What do you want to achieve in the industry?

My next project is a feature film about gaming. I am constantly striving to become a better actress.

TONY WU

Cinema in Hong Kong
OUTFIT, OWN STYLIST

Tell us about your breakout role.

My first film was Weeds on Fire, about 10 Hong Kong underdogs who started a youth baseball team. In real life, I’m a baseball player on a Hong Kong team, so the director gave me a chance and cast me for the role. The first few times on set I was very nervous, especially with scenes with action or combat moves, but luckily two other seasoned actors were willing to teach me and try the angles together so it worked out pretty well in the end.

What has been your biggest project so far?

I’ve had roles in Benny Chan’s Raging Fire and Zero to Hero with actress / director Sandra Ng.

What are you working on now

I’m working on a big movie now, but I can’t talk about it yet. This is already the fifth year of my acting career and I’m so excited about the new movie this is my first time working with Louis Koo – so I have to make sure I can concentrate 100 percent. I’m also working on a TV drama with Viu TV and renowned film director and producer Johnnie To. My job is to connect three different stories and I’m really looking forward to it.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I always learn something new from any actor, actress or director, so I’m always open to working with anyone new to make good films.

What’s next? What do you want to achieve in the industry?

Besides focusing on being a good actor and getting more experience, I’ve been working on singing so I hope to have my songs showcased soon.

KEVIN CHU

Cinema in Hong Kong
OUTFIT, OWN STYLIST

Tell us about your breakout role.

It was in a movie called To the Fore, a story about a young man pursuing his dream of becoming a professional cyclist. The first film I got a dialogue role in was Dealer / Healer – I was very nervous in a single scene with Sean Lau because I had so little experience at the time. Fortunately, he calmed me down, pointed out my mistakes, and taught me some acting skills.

What has been your biggest project so far?

I worked on A Step into the Past, which was a popular television drama in 2001 and is now being filmed on the same story. The shooting took place in Guizhou, in places like forests and a palace. Since the director got most of the previous characters into the film, they are mostly very experienced, which puts me under a lot of pressure. Also Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong, which gave me the opportunity to work with Andy Lau and Tony Leung.

What are you working on now

I was just doing a TV drama. The story is about fate – two children doing the same thing, but with very different outcomes and fates.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I always look forward to creating something new with different directors, actors and actresses as I can always learn new things from them.

What’s next? What do you want to achieve in the industry?

I have a new film in November about family and everyday life in Hong Kong. To talk about achievement, to be recognized and confirmed with an acting award, would be one of my goals. I look forward to challenging myself and breaking out of my comfort zone to become a better actor.

HANG JAI

Cinema in Hong Kong
OUTFIT, OWN STYLIST

Tell us about your breakout role.

My first film project as a director was Vampire Clean-up Department, which was unforgettable. Making a film from start to finish involves so many different parties that I realized that teamwork is most important.

What has been your biggest project so far?

One of my biggest projects is the recently released film One Second Champion. Compared to Vampires, I had a bigger budget so we could create some scenes on a macroscopic scale. The other big project was my concert in the Star Hall, as my other job is as lead singer for the band Tonick.

What are you working on now

I work on new songs with my band and prepare some scripts for new projects.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I always enjoy working as both an actor and a director, and I look forward to working with different people in new situations so that I can keep learning and creating something new.

What do you want to achieve in the industry?

To be able to continue my acting, music and directing journeys, to be able to take on different roles and create new songs and film plots. The biggest achievement would be more Hong Kong people to go to the cinema and show their support for local films.

Four up and coming faces from the Hong Kong cinema photo shoot

PHOTOGRAPHER NATALIE DUNN | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JEREMY WONG
STYLIST GENNADY ORESHKIN AND JEREMY WONG | LOCATION THE CHINESE LIBRARY

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