Buoyant Hong Kong Studio Edko Launches AFM Sales Trio

Riding on the box office success in Hong Kong of its “Table for Six,” Edko Films, the production, distribution and exhibition conglomerate headed by Bill Kong (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”), is launching a trio of new titles at the American Film Market this week.

One titles is courtroom drama “A Guilty Conscience,” which follows the aftermath of a manslaughter case in which a barrister’s mistake lands his supermodel client in jail. The path to an appeal, however, seems like justice itself is on trial.

Writer and director Jack Ng is making his feature directing debut on the drama; his track record as a writer that includes Edko’s 2021 hit “Anita” and “Cold War II.” The company’s confidence is such that the picture is set as Edko’s biggest title for the crucial Chinese New Year slot. It stars Dayo Wong (“Table for Six,” “The Grand Grandmaster”) and Louise Wong (“Anita”).

Eric Tsang Hing Wen makes his directorial debut with “Hong Kong Family,” a drama that premiered at last month’s Busan festival. It depicts the return to the city of a man who thought he was going to be the peacemaker in his family. But a seasonal dinner does not go as planned. It stars actors from three of Hong Kong’s most recent hits — Teresa Mo (“Mama’s Affair”), Tse Kwan Ho (“Warriors of Future”) and Edan Lui (“Chili Laugh Story”) — and arrives in local theaters later this month.

The company’s sales division, which is newly headed by executive Jason Ieong, is also representing acquired title “Cyber Heist.” Starring two of Hong Kong’s best-known actors, Simon Yam and Aaron Kwok, the thriller is directed by Wong Hing Fan (“I’m Living It”) and produced by Soi Cheang (“Paradox,” “Limbo”).

Ieong and his team will also be selling remaining available territories on “Table for Six,” which has broken a string of records following its Sept. 7 release. The family comedy is now the second highest-grossing local film of all time in Hong Kong, with a cumulative B.O. of HK$72 million ($9.23 million) from over 1 million ticket sales, or more than 14% of the territory’s entire population.

The film held the No. 1 spot at the box office for 42 days and remains in release in Hong Kong and in mainland China, where it has grossed an additional RMB104 million ($14.3 million). The film was originally scheduled for a release over Chinese New Year, but with cinemas closed by the pandemic causing the postponement of all releases, director Sunny Chan shot new elements to change the seasonality.

Since cinemas reopened in late summer, a string of Hong Kong movies has enjoyed resurgent success with home audiences, giving the city’s film industry a respite from more than two years of mostly bad news.

Earlier this year, Edko announced plans to begin developing and producing long-form series derived from its library of IP, which includes film titles including thriller “Cold War” and martial arts actioner “Fearless.”

Ieong is a veteran with experience at Hong Kong firms including TVB, UA Films, Emperor Motion Pictures and Bravos Pictures, as well at a stint at Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment.

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