14 February 2018 (Hong Kong) – While presenting distinguished contemporary films from around the world, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is also pleased to introduce the future of cinema to audiences – the Hong Kong premiere of Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Deserted, HTC’s first virtual reality (VR) Chinese language film, supported by HTC VIVE, ZOTAC and the Academy of Film of Hong Kong Baptist University. World-renowned Taiwanese master TSAI Ming-Liang and Golden Horse Award Best Leading Actor LEE Kang-Sheng will lead the Hong Kong audience through an unparalleled eye-opening VR experience, and share their thoughts and visions of this cinematic innovation in a Master Class, to be held at 5:30pm on 2 April.

Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival with Vive L’amour (1994), TSAI Ming-Liang has established himself as one of contemporary cinema’s most accomplished auteurs. In addition to bringing films into the art world, he has been constantly exploring multi-media and new technology in filmmaking. The Deserted, his debut VR work, is an attempt to break the established dichotomy of traditional cinema, and create an interactive film experience that blurs the lines between reality and creative expression.

The work is an elliptical tale of love, death and memory, starring LEE Kang-Sheng as a man recuperating from an illness in the mountains. Unable to communicate with his late mother or the female ghost next door, his only companion is a lone fish who swims with him in the bathtub. The Deserted offers a dreamlike 3D experience which immerses viewers in the construction of the scenes, and the characters’ personal journeys.

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The 55-min piece is a milestone in Chinese language cinema and selected for the first-ever Virtual Reality competition at the Venice Film Festival. It received overwhelming response at the Golden Horse Festival, selling out all 13 sessions within seconds. HKIFF is pleased to present 15 sessions from 31 March to 2 April at the Communication and Visual Arts Building of Hong Kong Baptist University.