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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Chi Sum Clifton KO
高志森 | KO Chi Sum Clifton

I truly appreciate the Hong Kong of the 1980s, an environment full of opportunities and respectful of creativity. In those days, as long as the work has new content or style, even fellow competitors would offer praise and encouragement. Young newcomers to the industry such as myself learned and thrived in this environment, which also nurtured many filmmakers.


Clifton Ko Chi-sum was born in 1958 to a family that originated in Zhongshan, Guangdong. Upon graduation from Kwun Tong Maryknoll College, he joined Rediffusion (Hong Kong) Television as a scriptwriter, and contributed to such series as Crocodile Tears (1978), Chameleon (1978) and Chameleon II (1979). Four years later, he joined Television Broadcast Limited (TVB) and worked under Clifford Choi and Feng Tsui-fan as assistant director. He left TVB in 1980 and wrote the scripts as well as serving as assistant director on director Choi’s No U-Turn (1981) and Teenage Dreamers (1982). He also wrote a number of comedies for Cinema City, including Till Death Do We Scare (1982), Play Catch (1983) and Esprit D’amour (1983).

In 1984 he made a splash with his first feature, the supernatural youth comedy The Happy Ghost, which cost $1 million to make and grossed over $17 million. He then followed up with Merry Christmas (1985), Happy Ghost II (1985) and Devoted To You (1986), before switching to D & B Films to make Chinese New Year releases such as It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World (1987) and It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World II (1988). He also acted as line producer to such films as My Family (1986) and Legacy of Rage (1986). Seeking creative breakthrough, he teamed up with Micheal Hui to make Chicken and Duck Talk (1988) and Mr. Coconut (1989), and collaborated with Sammo Hung on The Gambling Ghost (1991) and Daddy, Father, Papa (1991). He founded Ko Chi Sum Productions in 1989, which produced The Wild Ones (1989), How To Be A Millionaire (1989) and City Squeeze (1989). His All’s Well End’s Well (1992), All’s Well End’s Well, Too (1993) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1994), Chinese New Year releases made over three consecutive years, achieved tremendous success, with All’s Well End’s Well grossing a record-breaking $48 million.

In 1994 he caused a sensation when he used $3 million to turn the stage musical I Have a Date With Spring to screen, grossing over $20 million. He followed up with a series of films based on stage dramas, including One of the Lucky Ones (1995), The Umbrella Story (1995) and The Mad Phoenix (1997). He received a Golden Horse Award Best Director nomination for The Mad Phoenix.

Ko formed The Spring-Time Group in 1995 and devoted himself to stage productions. I Have a Date With Spring and The Mad Phoenix had since been revived numerous time, breaking box office records. In 1999 he persuaded Chan Po-chu to come back from semi-retirement to perform in the stage play A Sentimental Journey, which played over 100 shows, attracting an audience of over 120,000. In 2012, he started to host a cultural show on ATV called Director Ko’s Blog, and in 2013 he hosted a show about old Cantonese films entitled Those Were the Days.

Ko was the second president of the Hong Kong Screenwriters Guild, and is now its honorary president. In 2013 he was conferred the honorary title of University Fellowship by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
2006 《左麟右李之我愛醫家人》
We are Family LO Kim Wah
2004 《我的大嚿父母》
In-Law, Out-Law
2004 《浪漫春情》
2000 《大贏家》
Winner Takes All
2000 《愛情敏感地帶》
Love Paradox
2000 《創業玩家》
Funny Business
1998 《九星報喜》
Ninth Happiness
1997 《南海十三郎》
The Mad Phoenix
1997 《豆丁奇遇記》
Hong Kong Adventure
1995 《人間有情》
The Umbrella Story
1995 《偷錯隔牆花》
Paradise Hotel
1994 《大富之家》
It's a Wonderful Life
1994 《年年有今日》
I Will Wait For You
1994 《我和春天有個約會》
I Have a Date With Spring
1994 《伴我同行》
One of the Lucky Ones
1993 《花田囍事》
All's Well End's Well, Too
1993 《水滸笑傳》
Laughters of "Water Margins"
1992 《家有囍事》
All's Well End's Well
1992 《富貴黃金屋》
It's a Mad Mad Mad World Too! SUNG Ho Fai Francis
1992 《夏日情人》
Summer Lovers
1992 《富貴黃金屋》
It's a Mad Mad Mad World Too SUNG Ho Fai Francis
1991 《豪門夜宴》
The Banquet CHEUNG Kin Ting Alfred CHEUNG Tung Joe TSUI Hark
1991 《洪福齊天》
The Gambling Ghost
1991 《老豆唔怕多》
Daddy, Father, Papa
1990 《開心鬼救開心鬼》
Happy Ghost IV
1989 《合家歡》
Mr. Coconut
1989 《偷情先生》
City Squeeze
1989 《發達秘笈》
How to Be a Millionaire WONG Raymond
1988 《富貴再逼人》
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World II
1988 《雞同鴨講》
Chicken And Duck Talk
1987 《富貴逼人》
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World
1987 《鬼馬校園》
Porky Meatballs
1986 《痴心的我》
Devoted To You
1985 《開心鬼放暑假》
Happy Ghost II
1984 《開心鬼》
The Happy Ghost
1984 《聖誕快樂》
Merry Christmas