The value of films is not measured by price tags. A director can make a film with a budget of five figures or over nine figures, but the wish is the same that an experience of 90 minutes or 120 minutes can elicit in audiences emotions and thoughts. A five-figure film can be finished by one person and a nine- figure film can be controlled by only one person. The director has to deal with the script, the actors, the image, the sound, the art design, the editing… This is especially true for the writer-director. Only by more understanding of every department and mastering divergent aspects of the process can one do a decent job. It’s a job, because it involves many people and many tasks. But at the end, it’s a pleasure. Why grow up when you can make movies!
Kenneth Bi was born in 1967 in Hong Kong, and is cinema royalty, his father the Mandarin cinema actor Chin Han and his mother the superstar Ivy Ling Po. He is also an all-around filmmaker, having served in capacities as diverse as directing, writing, editing, acting and composing.
Bi studied film and theater at Brock University in Canada and had participated in theater and film productions as director, writer and actor in both Hong Kong and Canada. He also worked on radio, having won a Special Merit Award in 1992 for Rice Krinkles, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio drama.
In 1995, he worked on director Teddy Robin’s Hong Kong Graffiti as editor and actor. He continued to work in Hong Kong afterwards, having line-produced the films Thunderstorm (1996) and Slow Fade (1999) and receiving a Hong Kong Film Award nomination for his score for acclaimed director Fruit Chan’s The Longest Summer (1998). He formed Kenbiroli Films in 2000 with his wife Rosa Li, making the video film A Small Miracle, which won a prize at the Digital Visions Film Festival of Chicago. In 2002, he worked on his friend Lam Wah-chuen’s Runaway Pistol, serving as story co-creator, assistant director and actor.
In 1999, Bi’s script Rice Rhapsody won a grant from the Taiwan Government Information Office and was later accepted by the funding body Pusan Promotional Plan. But it wasn’t until veteran actress Sylvia Chang signed on to the project was Bi able to complete funding for his directorial debut, which was released in 2004 and shown in many festivals and won Best Theatrical Feature at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Actress (for Chang) at the Newport Beach International Film Festival.
His next film, The Drummer (2007), featuring the famed Taiwan drum group U-Theatre, again was shown widely in the festival circuit, including the Sundance Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival, winning Best Feature Film and Best Actor (for Jaycee Chan) awards at the Wine Country Film Festival as well as Best Supporting Actor (for Tony Leung Ka-fai) prize at the Golden Horse Awards. He followed that with Girl$ (2010), an explosive drama about the “paid dates” trade involving teenage girls, which was shown at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
His latest film Control (2013) was released in Mainland China by the end of 2013.
Bi is also author of the children story series Lolo’s Big Adventure.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||A Small Miracle|