Ms. Ann Hui is a leading film director at the forefront of the contemporary Hong Kong film industry, and is one of the most important figures in international cinema. She is especially highly regarded for her contribution as a pioneering Asian female film director. She has made an indelible impression through the social relevance of the themes she has tackled, the variety of genres in which she has worked, and the sheer excellence of her directing.
Ms. Ann Hui (originally, Hui On Wah, Ann) was born in Anshan, Liaoning Province, China in 1947 to a Chinese father and a Japanese mother. The family emigrated to Hong Kong in her childhood. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong, she went to the U.K., completed a two year special course on film, and then returned to Hong Kong. She produced a number of documentaries and dramas as a TV director, as well as working as assistant to King Hu (Hu Jinquan) who was a master of 'wuxia' (literally, martial arts heroes) films. In 1979, she made her debut as a film director with 'The Secret'. Joining the galaxy of new talent which has included Tsui Hark (Xu Ke) and Patrick Tam (Tan Jiaming), she started her creative work as a standard-bearer for the 'Hong Kong New Wave'. This movement coincided with other 'new waves' which appeared in various places in the East Asia. The interaction between these simultaneous movements enhanced global promotion not only of Asian films, but also of Asian art and culture.
Hui's work is primarily characterized by her constant and daring engagement with current issues, ranging from current topics like Vietnamese refugees to the isolation of elderly people, senile dementia, and gender. Central to much of her work are such themes as emigration, wandering and displacement, all of which are very intimate to Hong Kong people. 'Song of the Exile' relates her own personal experience of emigration and displacement. The second characteristic of her films is the wide variety of their themes. She has not pursued one particular genre, but has worked on horror stories, comedies, historical epics, soap operas and stories of ordinary people. All of these - from her debut film, 'The Secret' which is a horror movie using an experimental visual technique, to the recent work, 'The Postmodern Life of My Aunt', which adopts the perspective of a woman of her own generation to present the daily life of ordinary people in an unemotive way - have been characterized by a deep sensitivity, thanks to the high standard of her direction, while also attracting a wide and loyal audience, thanks to their accessibility and enjoyability. This is a clear evidence of her outstanding talent.
From 1980s to today, Ms. Ann Hui has made an enormous contribution to the progress of Hong Kong films. She has fearlessly chosen even highly controversial subjects for her films, whose broad appeal, supported by her own outstanding direction, have earned her critical success across the world. Thus she is truly worthy of the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Prize.