2013 New York Asian Film Festival’s “Ip Man: The Final Fight”

Grady Hendrix, Herman Lai-to Yau and Erica Man Li

Article by Yvonne Lo

25 Hong Kong films will be featured at the 2013 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) in June and July. These films are listed under “Hong Kong Cinema Now & Beyond” and “The Jackie Chan Retrospective,” to give prominence to Hong Kong’s films and talents.

One of the Hong Kong films that is featured at NYAFF is “Ip Man: The Final Fight” directed by Herman Lai-to Yau and written by Erica Man Li. On June 27th 2013, a press conference at HKETONY was held with director Herman Lai-to Yau and screenwriter Erica Man Li.

screenwriter Erica Man Li and director Herman Lai-to Yau

Herman Lai-to Yau has produced and directed almost 100 movies. He is most known for the “Untold Story,” “Ebola Syndrome,” and the blockbuster, “Master Q 2011.” Ms. Erica Man Li is very prolific. She is more than a screenwriter; she is a radio personality, written many Canto-pop lyrics, 50 books, and 12 screenplays.

screenwriter Erica Man Li, director Herman Lai-to Yau and Director of HKETONY Miss Anita Chan

At the conference, an announcement was made, “’Ip Man: The Final Fight’ will be making its North America debut at the New York Asian Film Festival, and we are proud to sponsor this event,” said the Director of HKETONY Miss Anita Chan.

In “Ip Man: The Final Fight,” Anthony Wong, director Yau’s favorite collaborator, plays Ip Man not as a legend but as a middle aged immigrant who comes to Hong Kong to rebuild his life. The film focuses on the poverty that warps the lives of him and his students. Ip Man struggles to keep his humanity in the face of a changing world where poverty is turning so many Chinese into victims, not victors. Over and over again, his teachings fail his students when times get tough. Ultimately, this is a movie with more on its mind than who can punch harder. It is about the legacy we leave behind. It is not about one hero named Ip Man, but the family he finds in Hong Kong that give him his strength. Everything else is just a myth.

director Herman Lai-to Yau

“I think this film has more of the old Hong Kong feel, the true essence of Hong Kong,” says a commenter.

What makes “Ip Man: The Final Fight” different from all of the other Ip Man movies?

Yau answered, “I’m not the first one to make a film on Ip Man. As a director, I have to pick an aspect and make it into a movie different from the pervious ones. When I studied his history, it wasn’t about Hong Kong. Therefore, I included my love for Hong Kong. I hope I can dedicate this movie to those outside of Hong Kong. I hope I don’t disappoint those who come to watch Ip Man.”

screenwriter Erica Man Li

Li said, “There have been more Batman and Superman movies made than Ip Man movies. Ip man is just like Batman, Iron Man, and Spiderman, he is just a man and a superhero. I try to find an aspect that is more human and focus on it to make it more down-to-earth and tell the uncut version of the story.”

So what is next for the duo? They are currently writing the script for a movie about Wong Fei-Hung. They plan to have Anthony Wong play the role of Wong Fei-Hung.

Li and Yau have collaborated on five films together. Two of their films were selected to be featured at the NYAFF, “Ip Man: The Final Fight” and “The Legend is Born: Ip Man.”

For more, please visit: http://subwaycinema.com/nyaff13/

director Herman Lai-to Yau and screenwriter Erica Man Li

Grady Hendrix, director Herman Lai-to Yau and screenwriter Erica Man Li

Grady Hendrix, Herman Yau and Erica Li

 

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