For most people who like films and have the chance to work in the film industry, their ultimate dream is to become a director. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to direct films, but found that I could never become a top-notch director. That’s because I compromise too easily and am not ruthless enough, and care too much about how investors and audiences feel. That is why I chose another post, and strived to do my best as an producer. Of course, I am still passionate about cinema, and am proud to have worked as a film director and to be counted among such a fine group of colleagues. To have been a Hong Kong film director leaves me with no regrets in life.
Manfred Wong Man-chun was born in Hong Kong in 1957. He started performing in radio plays at RTHK at the age of 9 and began writing about films and television for Youth Weekly when he was 14 years old. He graduated at St Paul’s Coeducational College and studied in the School of Communication at Hong Kong Baptist College. In 1976, he joined the creative department at Rediffusion Television. Wong joined the film industry in 1979, and tried his hands at various posts including actor, scriptwriter, assistant director, continuity clerk, director and producer.and worked for numerous companies such as Pearl City Films, Johnny Mak Production, Golden Harvest, D&B Films, Shaw Brothers, Cinema City, Always Good Film, Entertainment Impact and Win’s Entertainment. He wrote the script to Lonely Fifteen (1982) and Everlasting Love (1984), which were nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2nd and 4th Hong Kong Film Awards, respectively. His first directorial effort, Crazy Seventeen (1985), was produced by Johnny Mak. In 1989 Wong produced his first film Widow Warriors, financed by John Shum.
In the early 1990s, when Mainland China began to open up its film market, Wong went to Beijing to shoot The Twilight of the Forbidden City which was co-directed with Poon Man-kit. In 1991 he co-operated with Jiang Wen and Alex Man in The Trail, which was one of the earliest Hong Kong-China co-produced cop dramas. While making The Trail, Wong got to know Jiang Wen, setting the stage for future collaboration. In 1994, Wong produced In the Heat of the Sun, Jiang’s directorial debut. In the Heat of the Sun was much lauded at the 51st Venice International Film Festival, with the actor Xia Yu garnering the Best Actor Award. In 1996, Wong partnered with Wong Jing and Andrew Lau Waikeung to form BoB & Partners, which produced over 30 films. With his sensitivity to the influence of comics in pop culture, Wong produced a series of films based on the popular comics Young and Dangerous and Feel 100%, as well as Storm Riders (1998), the latter breaking box-office records for Chinese language films in Hong Kong.
In 2001, Wong produced Roots and Branches, which grossed 20million RMB with a cost of 3million. It won over 10 awards at film festivals. Wong pioneered the webcast of drama series in 2002, producing various programs for the internet, including Feel 100%, 20/30 Dictionary and Academy Of Detectives. Over his career, Wong has so far participated in over 120 film and television productions. In recent years, he has been focusing mainly on work as a scriptwriter and producer, and had produced numerous films for up-and-coming film directors in Mainland China.
Wong was the president of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association and the chairman of the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild. Currently Wong serves on the committee of the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild and the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild, as well as on the board of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society and a consultant for the Hong Kong Film Development Board. He founded Hong Kong Film magazine in Hong Kong in 2007.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Bruce Lee, My Brother||YIP Wai Man Raymond|
||The Twilight of the Forbidden City||POON Man Kit|
||A Tale from the East|