By making films, I can magically realize my dreams which I cannot in reality. In City of Glass I flew a plane; in The Soong Sisters I was a First Lady, and in An Autumn’s Tale I opened a restaurant by the sea for my friend… All these dreams come true because of the films I make. Films turn me into a dream maker and a magician.
Mabel CHEUNG was born in Hong Kong and studied at Ying Wa Girls’ School before gaining admission to the University of Hong Kong, where she majored in English literature and psychology. After graduation, she furthered her education at Bristol University to study drama and visual arts, and then attended New York University for a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production. There, she met fellow classmate Alex Law, who later became her creative partner throughout her career. From 1978 to 1980 she directed various television programs for RTHK, including episodes of the series Below the Lion Rock and Under the Same Roof, as well as the children’s program Banana Boat.
Later, Cheung was approached by Shaw Brothers to direct her first feature, Illegal Immigrants (1985), which won Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Her sophomore effort, An Autumn’s Tale (1987), was highly popular and garnered the Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director prizes at the Hong Kong Film Awards, and the Best Actor trophy at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards (for Chow Yun-fat). Eight Taels of Gold (1989) was nominated for five Hong Kong Film Awards. These three works comprised her “Immigration Trilogy”. Later, she collaborated with Alex Law on the screenplay for Painted Faces (1988), which won Best Screenplay at the Golden Horse Awards. Her later works include The Soong Sisters (1997), which depicts three of the most important female figures in modern Chinese history, and City of Glass (1998), a love story among different generations of students at the University of Hong Kong.
Cheung and Law form a rare creative team in the Hong Kong film community. Both of them are fond of producing films that reflect the local Hong Kong spirit, and their works are richly literary with a nostalgic and romantic flavor. Cheung and Law often split writing, producing and directing duties in their works. In Echoes of the Rainbow, Law acted as the director and Cheung played the role of producer. The film won the Crystal Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Traces of a Dragon|
||1:99||LAW Alex TSUI Hark CHAN Gordon CHEN Teddy LAU Andrew CHAN Peter MA Joe CHOW Sing Chi Stephen CHAN Fruit MAK Shiu Fai Alan LAM Dante|
||City of Glass|
||The Soong Sisters|
||Eight Taels of Gold|
||An Autumn's Tale|
||The Illegal Immigrant|