Thursday, February 16, 2023


Johnnie To is on the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival competition jury

Johnnie To speaks in Cantonese through a translator at the jury press conference before the opening ceremony
courtesy of

The 73rd Berlin Film Festival would take place between the 16th and the 26th. Director Johnnie To Kei Fung became another Hong Kong filmmaker after Maggie Cheung Man Yuk to be on the jury of three major European Film Festival in Berlin, Cannes and Venice.

Before the opening ceremony, the jury last night met with the media; reporters asked what memorable movies they have seen in recent years. To Kei Fung said that he would be able to answer questions easier in Cantonese. He did so then the translator interpreted. To Kei Fung said that movies have gotten worse now, all around the world. He said that the movie watching world seems to be gradually disappearing, unlike it was before. "I hope this is only temporary, perhaps what I say is very daring but those words are truly from my heart."

Someone asked the jury after 3 years, the Berlin Film Festival returned to normal again. Why did they think film would be so important to everyone? To Kei Fung spoke again in Cantonese, saying that films are always be in the forefront. "When the authoritarian regimes take over, when the citizens are losing their freedom, films are always first to suffer. The regimes will strangle the freedom of creativity. The films are impacting the souls directly, so the dictators must eliminate cinemas and movies. I think for Hong Kong, no, sorry...every individual and country fighting for freedom...they should back movies, because they are speaking for you."

To Kei Fung later said that films could not be gauged by money. "I have made several movies with less than HK$ 2 million, I felt very happy and comfortable while making them. I think the most important thing in film is talking about passion and vision. Without passion and vision, artists wouldn't be able to do what they should do; even if I give you HK$ 10 billion, if you don't have them you don't, if you do you do."

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