Chilli Laugh Story

Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Coba Cheng
Starring: Ronal Cheng, Gigi Leung, Edan Lui, Sandra Ng
Distributor: We Distribution
Guests: Coba Cheng, Sandra Ng


Have you ever been sent into the Earth’s orbit by a transcendent chili sauce? If not, do not worry, the New Year’s comedy Chili Laugh Story will certainly make up for your missing space experience. The debuting director Coba Cheng has made an autobiographical story based on his own experience with selling The Chili Lab hot sauce. And he certainly did not sugar coat his life story and make it look like a glorifying myth!

One day amid the pandemic, young Coba realizes that his mother’s chili sauce is beyond compare and he ventures to start a business based on a family recipe. At a first glance, Chili Laugh Story respects the conventions of New Year’s comedies – it is full of puns, pranks, expressive acting, and lessons on the power of family. But just at the right moment, it crosses genre boundaries and becomes a rather spicy social satire. It is critical of insufficient government support during the pandemic, it mocks the desire to accumulate wealth, and denounces negative influence of large companies on small family businesses.

In his debut, Coba Cheng shows he has a gift to capture visually interesting moments – intergalactic chili sauce tasting is one of the film highlights – and nuanced social criticism. The future of Hong Kong comedies is in good hands! And if you are patient, you will see a brilliant cameo of a Hong Kong celebrity in the closing credits.

Septet: The Story of Hong Kong

Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Ann Hui, Sammo Hung, Ringo Lam, Patrick Tam, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Yuen Woo-Ping
Starring: Timmi Hung, Francis Ng, Sire Ma, Jennifer Yu
Distributor: Media Asia International Distribution Limited


Seven leading directors of Hong Kong cinema came together to each shoot a short film that pays tribute to their birthplace. In view of current affairs in Hong Kong, this anthology film feels like saying goodbye to the once glorious city. Still, the filmmakers do not explicitly deal with the present, but rather with memories and sentiments they hold towards their home city. Some of the stories are filled with personal nostalgia – Sammo Hung tells the story of a martial art master teaching young students, or Patrick Tam, a prominent figure of the Hong Kong new wave, describes a young man’s love story taking place in 1980s. By contrast, Johnnie To, who initiated and produced the entire project, creates a funny overview of economic turbulence the city went through in the past decades, and Tsui Hark pulled off an entertaining meta-cinematic vision. In addition to these directors, the anthology includes another acclaimed representative of the Hong Kong new wave, Ann Hui, a martial art films legend, Yuen Woo-Ping, and an action film master, Ringo Lam, who passed away shortly after completing his short film reflecting the tumultuous transformations of the city landscape. The contributing directors are all globally renowned and also very distinctive, so each short film features a different genre, mood, and cinematic approach. All together, they document how an ageing generation of great directors perceives the past and the present of Hong Kong and serve as a reminder of how versatile the local cinema is.

To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self

Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Mabel Cheung
Distributor: Golden Scene Company Limited
Guest: Mabel Cheung (Q&A after the film)


From 2011 to 2021 Mabel Cheung and her crew followed a group of six student at prestigious Ying Wa Girls’ School, proudly overlooking the harbour of Hong Kong. Throughout a decade, Cheung chronicles the girls’ academic and personal achievements, as well as failures and crises. By means of observation, she lets the audience peek into their lives and shows them searching for their own paths in difficult times. Coming of age, family relationships, the search for one’s identity and unexpected confrontations with reality are the main themes of this inspiring documentary.

On the one hand, To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self portrays six individual women trying to find out who they are. At the same time and typically for Mabel Cheung, it also implicitly comments on a decade of development taking place in the city of Hong Kong. The period from 2011 to 2021 was very turbulent for the city and even more so for Ying Wa School. In 2011 the school decided to build a new campus because the old one from the 1950s had no longer met the needs for modern education. Students are moved and spend several years in a temporary campus in Kowloon district. This creates an unexpected contrast between a prestigious school and the new neighbourhood. The girls get to know a different social and urbanistic environment and gain a unique experience. To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self is the story of six women, two campuses, and one dynamic city.


Action thriller
Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Cheang Pou-soi
Starring: Gordon Lam, Cya Liu, Mason Lee, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
Distributor: Mandarin Motion Pictures Limited


Rookie police officer Will Yam (Mason Lee) and his partner, a veteran cop (Gordon Lam), are pursuing a mystery serial killer in this textbook example of a stylized neo-noir genre. The black and white Limbo shatters Yam’s illusions and proudly goes back to the times when Hong Kong cinema was dominated by films with the highest Category III rating. The director Soi Cheang is merciless and torments the audience just as much as the characters. All that to the sound of music by Kenji Kawai, the author of the soundtrack to Ghost in the Shell.

In 2019, Filmasia already introduced Cheang’ SPL II: A Time for Consequences that breaks the boundaries of straightforward action films and Limbo is similarly careless to the conventions of investigative narratives. Its elusive genre can be defined as anything from a neo-noir crime story, a harrowing thriller, a horror story or even an over-the-top exploitation. Everything is further emphasized by a highly aesthetic contrast between black and white, as well as the vision of Cheng Siu-Keung, a cinematographer who frequently collaborates with Cheang’s mentor Johnnie To. Limbo provides a unique opportunity to see a modern Hong Kong crime thriller that will get your heart racing.