Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington DC
Hong Kong

Remarks by Eddie Mak
Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States

23rd Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival Reception
Freer Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.
July 10, 2018


Thank you Tom

Thank you for joining us this evening for the premiere of the 23rd annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival. I am grateful to Tom and our friends at the Smithsonian Institution for their relentless support to the gallery’s longest-running film festival. We are also happy to see that the film festival has returned to its beloved home at the Freer Gallery of Art.

This is my first public speaking engagement since I took up the post of Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States last week. Many of you know that I am no stranger to the US having served as Director-General of our Washington, DC office from 2006 to 2010. Those days offered me a wonderful experience in working with you to promote closer ties between Hong Kong and the US.

Beyond my office’s mission to strengthen government-to-government and commercial ties, we aim to enrich cross-cultural exchanges. Our annual film festival provides an excellent platform to draw our communities together through a shared appreciation of the arts.

Many of you know how committed Hong Kong is to nurturing an environment conducive to arts and cultural development, as well as free expression. At the forefront of this endeavor is the much-anticipated West Kowloon Cultural District which continues to take shape as an integrated arts, cultural and entertainment hub. Various anchor facilities of the district will be gradually commissioned in the coming years, including the Xiqu Centre, the M+ museum of visual culture, the Lyric Theatre Complex and the Hong Kong Palace Museum, to name a few.

Further contributing to our arts and culture ecology is Art Basel, Hong Kong. The recently concluded sixth edition of the international art fair continued to spur the vibrancy of our art market. It reinforced the city’s position as a cultural hub in Asia by showcasing cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists from across our region.

Of course I encourage you to travel to Hong Kong to experience first-hand the city’s cultural dynamism. It is a trip which will be made all the easier when Cathay Pacific begins a new direct service between Hong Kong and Washington in September. For those of you who may not have the opportunity to visit Hong Kong yet, you don’t need to go any further than the Freer Gallery of Art. Our film festival offers a unique opportunity to showcase Hong Kong film talent, ingenuity and artist freedom.

Every year we strive to present filmgoers with a diverse crop of films – both current and classic – as well as special events. This year is no exception.

On July 27 we will welcome director Alan Lo and actress Venus Wong who will introduce their film Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Fans of last year’s Vampire Cleanup Department will enjoy this comic parody of the zombie film genre.

We will also feature a special screening of the 1982 Shaw Brothers cult classic, Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu, on August 3. The film will be accompanied by a live score featuring DC’s own Shaolin Jazz which will channel the film’s kinetic energy through a blend of hip-hop and funk.

This evening’s premiere film, Shock Wave, is a taut thriller directed by Herman Yau who strives to upend traditional action film conventions. It became one of the biggest hits of 2017 in Hong Kong. I hope you enjoy it.

Please sit back, relax and enjoy the movie. Thank you.


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