International Competition Jury President
Ning Hao (Mainland China)
Ning Hao is a Chinese film director and writer, and creator of the “Dirty Monkey 72 Film Project”. He first blasted onto the scene in 2006 with his scrappy urban comedy Crazy Stone, establishing a new genre for contemporary Chinese filmmaking and inspiring the emergence of a new generation of Chinese filmmakers.
Ning’s films are deeply rooted in China and depict the rapidly changing kaleidoscope of modern Chinese society. He brings a unique authorial perspective and signature individual aesthetic to all his works, achieving one after another milestone in the development of the Chinese film industry.
Commencing with Crazy Stone and continuing through his recent holiday blockbuster Crazy Alien, Ning has woven new creative concepts and elements, such as black humor and multi-strand narration, that have been widely embraced both by the creative community and audiences. Because Ning’s films all live within his unique “absurdist” universe, they are endowed with a consistency of spirit that differentiates them from other films of a similar genre.
The audience has come to anticipate and savor the high quality production values, authentic portrayal of social reality and cast of ordinary, relatable characters they know they will find in Ning Hao’s films. And because, at the same time, his films have consistently achieved stellar box office success, Ning Hao is recognized as that rare sort of director who can “perfect the combination of art and commerce”.
In 2016, Ning Hao launched the “Dirty Monkey 72 Film Project” with the intention of assembling a group of young, ambitious filmmakers, exploring and unearthing newly emerging filmmaking talent, and creating a platform for the development and growth of young filmmakers with new ideas, attitudes, personalities and visions. As a filmmaker, Ning Hao is committed to “giving back” to the industry and supporting rising talent in the hope of lighting a flame, passing the torch, and ensuring that the creative power of film will continue to grow and thrive for generations.
International Competition Jury
Albert Lee (Hong Kong SAR)
Albert Lee is one of Hong Kong’s most experienced and versatile film executives foralmost four decades, having held senior management positions across the production, distribution, exhibition and corporate sectors.
Lee began his film career in 1979 when Golden Harvest recruited him. Over the next 21 years, Lee was an integral part of the team that produced, distributed and promoted films from Hong Kong’s cinematic golden age to all corners of the world.
Since joining Emperor Motion Pictures in 2003, Lee helped to establish the Hong Kong-based company as one of Asia’s most prominent and active production and distribution entities. Adding project development and production to his growing portfolio, Lee produced more than 20 films during his 15-year tenure and worked closely with filmmakers such as Jiang Wen, Jackie Chan, Dante Lam, Benny Chan and Jeff Lau.
Lee was also instrumental in Emperor’s expansion into the exhibition sector in recent years. The company now operates some 110 state-of-the-art screens in 13 locations across Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hefei, Shenzhen, Foshan, Zhuhai and Hong Kong.
A life-long cinephile and a dedicated student of the history of cinema, Lee is passionate about film preservation and conservation. He has managed several restoration projects, including Jiang Wen’s debut film, In the Heat of the Sun.
Lee had sat on Singapore Media Festival’s advisory board, and served on the juries of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, Venice Film Festival’s Opera Prima, Udine’s Far East Film Festival, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, and the Taipei Golden Horse Film Promotion Plan. A member of the China Film Association, Asia Pacific Screen Academy, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is currently Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Executive Director, having succeeded Roger Garcia in November 2018.
Eric Khoo (Singapore)
Award winning film maker and Cultural Medallion recipient Eric Khoo who helms Zhao Wei Films has been credited for reviving the Singapore film industry and for putting Singapore onto the International film map in 1995. He was the first Singaporean to have his films invited to major film festivals such as Toronto, Busan, Berlin, Telluride, Venice and Cannes. Together with 12 Storeys’ co-writer James Toh and actress Lucilla Teoh, he also wrote a White Paper which resulted in the formation of the Singapore Film Commission. Khoo was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, from the French Cultural Minister in 2008. Besides his filmmaking achievements, Khoo has produced several award-winning films including 15 (2003) and Apprentice (2016).
Be With Me opened the Directors Fortnight in Cannes 2005 and My Magic his fourth feature was nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2008. Khoo has been profiled in Phaidon Books, Take 100 the future of Film – 100 New directors. The Pompidou Centre in Paris held an Eric Khoo film retrospective and he served as President of the Jury at The Locarno International Film Festival in 2010. The following year, he released his first animated feature, Tatsumi, which was invited to the 64th Cannes Film Festival and made it’s North American premiere at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In 2012 Khoo headed the juries at Asian Film Awards, Rotterdam International Film Festival and in 2013 the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. He was invited to be on the official Cannes, short film competition jury in 2017. Eric was the show runner for Folklore in 2018 and in 2019 for Food Lore, both series for HBO Originals Asia.
Mattie Do (Laos)
Born to Lao refugees, Mattie was raised in Los Angeles, but returned permanently to Laos a decade ago. Her debut film, Chanthaly, was the first Lao film to screen outside of SE Asia. Chanthaly’s festival success led to Mattie’s selection for the Cannes’ Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde, TIFF’s Directors Talent Lab, Berlinale Talents, and BIFAN’s Fantastic Film School. Afterward, Mattie worked with the Ministry of Culture to create the infrastructure necessary to introduce foreign co-production to Laos, including a framework for managing the country’s rigid censorship. Mattie produced Laos’ first American-Canadian film, RIVER directed by Jamie Dagg, and Japanese Co-production, BKK NITES directed by Katsuya Tomita. Her second film, Dearest Sister, received Special Jury Mentions at Sitges and Fantasporto, and was later selected as Laos’ first submission for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 90th Academy Awards. Her third film, The Long Walk, premiered in the Giornate degli Autori at the 76th Venice Film Festival in 2019. The Long Walk also earned Mattie a Best Director award in the Noves Visions section of the Sitges Film Festival.
Mattie Do is Laos’ first, and only, female filmmaker.
Nina Hoss (Germany)
Nina recently won the Best Actress Award at the 2019 San Sebastián Film Festival for The Audition. She starred in Katrin Gebbe’s drama Pelican Blood, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
Nina is best known for her roles in the critically acclaimed German films, Phoenix, A Most Wanted Man, and Barbara, which won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012. She won Best Actress at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2016 for her role as ‘Nelly’ in Phoenix directed by Christian Petzold.
Nina starred opposite Stellan Skarsgard in the English language film, Return to Montauk, which was directed by Volker Schlondorff. She is known for her portrayal of ‘Astrid’, the series recurring role in Showtime’s Homeland. Nina can be seen as the lead episodic role in the Netflix Original series CRIMINAL: GERMANY.
Nina will be seen in the BRON Studios period drama series Shadowplay, starring opposite, Taylor Kitsch, Michael C. Hall, and Logan Marshall-Green. Måns Mårlind, Bjorn Stein are directing. She recently finished shooting Violence of Action starring as ‘Katia’ opposite Chris Pine with Tarik Saleh directing and Thunder Road producing.