Tatler looks back at 2022’s local films that did unexpectedly well—from turning the tide against pandemic odds and discovering new talent to being top-streamed on Netflix and entering the metaverse
This year hasn’t been an easy one for Hong Kong’s film industry with cinemas being closed until April under Covid restrictions. Despite the odds, several Hong Kong movies have managed to buck the trend—some were even selected for international film festivals while others beat Marvel Studio’s highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the local box office. Here are the productions that made it through the trying times and came out with unexpected flying colours.
1. ‘Table for Six’
Sunny Chan’s comedy banded together some of Hong Kong’s most well-known faces: comic Dayo Wong Tze Wah, Canto-pop singer Ivana Wong, actress and singer Stephy Tang and singer-songwriter Louis Cheung. Together, they portray a family struggling with complicated romantic relationships while also trying to maintain the family bond.
The film was originally slated for the first day of Chinese New Year, which is usually a lucrative time for the box office, but its release was postponed due to the city’s fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chan, during an interview with Tatler in March, said he was devastated about missing the holiday period. We can only imagine his elation when five days after the film was released in September, its box office collection reached HK$1 million. And in five weeks’ time, it had exceeded HK$72 million and become the third-highest grossing Chinese film in Hong Kong. To thank its supporters, Edko Films, which produced Table for Six, treated citizens to free bus rides on KMB routes.
The film was nominated for Best Screenplay Award at this year’s Far East Film Festival, and will be adapted for the stage. Its play will star local band Zarahn’s lead singer Endy Chow, and will be part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival in February 2023.
2. ‘Sunshine of My Life’
First-time film director Judy Chu took more than ten years to develop the story of Sunshine of My Life, which is based on the true story of her blind parents and herself. Chu, who comes f