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Hong Kong Film Wins the Crystal Bear in Berlin
It is the first time that a Hong Kong film wins the award
By Mi2N
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From left: Mr Aarif Lee (Actor); Mr Alex Law (Director) and Ms Mabel Cheung (Producer)

"Echoes of the Rainbow", directed by Alex Law and produced by Mabel Cheung, won the Crystal Bear for the Best Feature Film in the Generation section of the 60th Berlinale 2010, as announced at the award ceremony of Generation section of Berlinale this afternoon (February 20, 2010, German time). It is the first time that a Hong Kong film wins the award.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau offers her congratulations to the production crew of "Echoes of the Rainbow". "The success of the film demonstrates the strength of Hong Kong film makers. The Government will continue to support the film sector, the flagship of our creative industries, through the CreateHK office and the Film Development Council," Mrs Lau said.

A total of 14 films competed for the Crystal Bear award this year. The Generation section of Berlinale is designed for children and youth, aiming to increase cultural understanding through film among the younger generation. Jury members are directly recruited from young audiences, selected from those who filled out a questionnaire which solicits the opinion of the filmgoers in the Generation section. Every year some 2,500 young filmgoers happily take on this offer.

When receiving the award, Director Alex Law and Producer Mabel Cheung said, "in addition to the production team and the cast, we would like to thank the HKSAR Government, in particular the Film Development Fund for their support in the production of 'Echoes of the Rainbow' in Hong Kong. Upon arrival in Berlin, the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Berlin, continued to offer its support and organised promotional activities at the Berlinale. My crew enjoyed our stay very much as a result," they added.

"Echoes of the Rainbow" is one of the productions supported by the Film Development Fund under the auspices of the Commerce & Economic Development Bureau. Hong Kong's cultural and creative industry is one of the six priority industries promoted by the HKSAR Government. The HKSAR Government has established a Film Services Office to promote Hong Kong films and support film productions, as well as to provide one-stop and free services to filmmakers who choose Hong Kong as a filming location. The HKSAR Government has allocated HK$300 millions (Euros 27 millions) to the Film Development Fund to provide financial support for the production of small-to-medium budget films, and to finance projects which are beneficial to the long-term development of the film industry.

At the 60th Berlinale this year, four Hong Kong movies were screened, namely, "Echoes of the Rainbow", "Amphetamine", "True Legend" and "Little Big Soldier". The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), Berlin of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government supported the participation of these four films by liaising with the Organising Committee of the Berlinale with a view to promoting HK's film industry. A cocktail reception and press conference were lined up on February 17, where about 250 film producers, directors and agents from the film industry in Germany as well as government officials, diplomats and representatives from business and professional sectors had good exchanges and discussions with the film crews from Hong Kong.

"Since the commencement of operation of the HKETO in Berlin in March last year, promoting Hong Kong's creative industry, including the participation of Hong Kong films in the Berlinale, has become part of the initiatives for the Office to strengthen bilateral economic ties and promote Hong Kong's overall image in central and eastern Europe," said Mr. Stephen Kai Wong, the Director of HKETO, Berlin. HKETO, Berlin has been promoting the creative industry of Hong Kong in various cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, Graz and Vienna through seminars, receptions, newsletters and visits. It also sponsored a TV documentary "Mythos Hong Kong" with special focus on the creative industry. The documentary was broadcast in a German TV channel n-tv in last December and January, and will be repeated in summer this year.

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