The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum has dedicted an award to the memory of producer Wouter Barendrecht, which will go to new filmmakers.
Barendrecht is credited with helping a generation of Asian filmmakers reach a global audience. In addition to such names as Wong Kar-wai and Iwai Shunji, the producer and co-founder of Fortissimo Films also helped put Thai cinema on the world map, backing movies by the likes of Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe, Invisible Waves, Ploy), Wisit Sasanatieng (Tears of the Black Tiger), the Pang Bros. (Bangkok Dangerous), Ekachai Uekrongtham (Pleasure Factory) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Syndromes and a Century). Barendrecht was in Bangkok to see the rough cut of Pen-ek's Nymph when he died on April 5 last year, and the film was dedicated to him.
The new HAF award, worth HK$50,000, will be funded by the Wouter Barendrecht Film Foundation and the Film Development Fund, and will go to the HAF projects "by directors who have made less than three films". The winner will be selected by the Foundation’s representatives.
Other prizes at HAF are the HAF Awards, which go to one Hong Kong project and one from overseas and are worth HK$150,000 each; the Technicolor Asia Award, presented by Technicolor Thailand to a project that shows the highest potential for film financing; and the Paris Project Award, in which the winner goes to Paris Cinéma International Film Festival to participate in the Paris Project 2010.
Among the 25 selections for HAF this year are Ekachai's Chang & Eng (project PDF), an adaption of his 1997 stage musical about the original Siamese twins, and Lee Chatametikool's Past Love, set during the Asian financial crisis of 1995-97 (project PDF).
HAF will be held March 22 to 24, during the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
(Via AFA-Asian Film Awards)