The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) announces a long-term collaboration with Italy’s world-renowned Cineteca di Bologna to promote film heritage conservation through screenings, exhibitions and seminars of restored classics.

A significant feature of this collaboration will involve HKIFFS bringing some of Cineteca di Bologna’s priceless collection of restored film classics in specially curated programmes to Hong Kong’s audience, starting from the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) in 2020.  HKIFFS’s year-round repertory Cine Fan Programme will also benefit from this partnership.

To reciprocate, HKIFFS will collaborate with Cineteca di Bologna in identifying and recommending notable films from the region for preservation, and to assist in curating Chinese language programmes for future editions of Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival for restored and rediscovered films held in Bologna each year.

In welcoming this new initiative, HKIFFS executive director Albert Lee notes the growing global interest in film conservation. “Newly restored film classics now form an important feature in most international festivals, including Hong Kong,” Lee said. “And it is gratifying to see local audience becoming increasingly appreciative of film heritage through their exposure to these restored classics.

Director of Cineteca di Bologna Gian Luca Farinelli said, “Receiving an invitation from such a prestigious festival is a great honor. HKIFFS, for 43 years, has showcased the best examples of cinema from all eras and countries and we are particularly glad to present some examples of our work on cinema heritage in such an occasion. Cinema is a key instrument to improve mutual understanding between Eastern and Western worlds: the need for knowledge and human relations today is more important and urgent than ever.”

With a collection of thousands of films in its archive, Cineteca di Bologna is one of the most recognised centers for preserving world cinematic heritage.  Its highly specialised film restoration laboratory, L’Immagine Ritrovata, is renowned for its technical expertise, superior quality and unparalleled vision, having worked on films by the Lumieres, Chaplin, Keaton, Wong Kar-Wai, Edward Yang, King Hu, and Jiang Wen, among many others.

Cineteca di Bologna is also the organizer of the annual Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and often forgotten cinema. Now in its 33rd edition, Il Cinema Ritrovato offers not only timeless classics and masterpieces recently restored and preserved, but it also showcases lesser-known cinematic works recovered from film archives around the world.

HKIFF44 will run from 24 March to 6 April 2020.  Details will be announced early in 2020.

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.