Hong Kong Celebrates the Movies

Hong Kong enjoys a reputation as ‘the Hollywood of the East’ and the international popularity of Hong Kong movies and movie stars has helped promote worldwide interest in the city as a tourist destination. Now comes the Avenue of Stars, a major attraction that will enhance the city’s appeal and provide an opportunity to honour the achievements of the Hong Kong movie industry’s leading players.

Located on the waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui, one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist areas, the Avenue of Stars will feature pavement plaques commemorating Hong Kong movie personalities past and present; milestone features outlining the local film industry’s 100-year history; a welcome video together with sculptures, souvenir and food kiosks, all of which will enable visitors to see and learn more about their favourite Hong Kong movies and movie stars. At night, special lighting throughout the area will create an even more enchanting atmosphere. And, of course, it is from Tsim Sha Tsui that the best views of spectacular Hong Kong Harbour can be enjoyed.

Surveys by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) show that 14% of visitors to Hong Kong are interested in finding movie scene locations, while 12% are interested in visits to film and television studios. The Avenue of the Stars was conceived by the HKTB in 2000 with the strong support of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association (HKFAA), the government’s Tourism Commission and Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Yau Tsim Mong District Council and, last but not least, the New World Group which has financed the construction of the project, which officially opens on 27 April. The HKFAA has donated a magnificent Hong Kong Film Awards statue that will stand at the entrance to the Avenue of Stars.

In announcing the fact that a total of 73 names of film professionals will initially grace the Avenue of Stars, Mr Manfred Wong, Chairman of HKFAA, stated that for many years Hong Kong film professionals have been producing a great number of quality films that are highly appreciated both in Hong Kong and overseas. Many of these names will be known to Canadian film audiences, including actors Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat, as well as renowned directors John Woo, Wong Kar Wai and Ann Hui On Wah. Famous people such as these – together with many others, both past and present – will highlight Hong Kong’s immense contribution to the international film industry and serve to create even more interest in Hong Kong’s films amongst audiences around the world.

The HKTB has been laying the groundwork for the launch to ensure that visitors can fully experience the glamour and romance of the movie world. As soon as they arrive, visitors will be greeted at the airport and major border points by the HKTB staff handing out Avenue of Stars information. In addition, there will be themed decorations in various parts of the city and the Board is preparing a Hong Kong Movie Odyssey Guide showing the locations used for a number of favourite Hong Kong movie scenes so that movie-lovers can discover the locations for themselves.

For a further taste of Hong Kong’s distinctive lifestyle – so often portrayed in the movies – visitors can further enhance their own experiences by choosing from a range of movie-related dining offers and menus developed by restaurants in Tsim Sha Tsui. These initiatives will be listed and detailed in a Dining Delights passport distributed by the HKTB.

Ms Lily Shum, Regional Director – The Americas of the HKTB says, “The Avenue of Stars brings together the magic of the movies, the shimmering night views and romantic allure of Hong Kong. We are confident that it will become another “must-see” tourist attraction, enabling local residents and visitors to truly experience the glamour and romance of Hong Kong.”

To further promote and celebrate the movies, the HKTB is also supporting Universal Studio’s distribution of the Kill Bill I DVD by offering a Hong Kong holiday prize. Ballots are available to all Canadian residents (with the exception of those living in Québec) at HMV stores and on their web page www.hmvonline.com , where contestants merely fill-in their contact details and answer a simple skill-testing question regarding the movie.

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