#HIFFSpring19 Spotlight: Chinese films excel both artistically and at the box-office

By HIFF | April 01, 2019

The HIFF Spring Showcase presented by Halekulani is honored to present two award-winning films from China. THE CROSSING, a feature film debut from actress turned director Bai Xue, is a riveting coming-of-age crime thriller that world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. DYING TO SURVIVE, which is based on true story, surprised the film industry, as the film struck a chord with audiences and grossed a phenomenal half a billion dollars at the Chinese box-office, becoming one of the biggest films of all time. Finally, if you’re in the mood for action, we have the latest martial arts extravaganza in the “Ip Man” series, MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY, co-starring Michelle Yeoh and Dave Bautista (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY). Check out the Chinese films at #HIFFSpring19!


Sixteen-year-old Peipei crosses the border nearly every day, traveling from her mainland China home to her Hong Kong high school and back again. Customs officials glimpse her school uniform and innocent face and wave her through without a second thought. But Peipei is about to become involved in some illicit activities that will render her routine into something highly dangerous. Reminiscent of BAD GENIUS and BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, THE CROSSING is a vibrant coming-of-age drama that sparks with intelligence. Presented by the Confucius Institute at UH Manoa


Cheng Yong runs a small herbal shop that has seen better days. He is deep in debt and struggling for custody of his son, when an ill leukemia patient approaches him with a proposition. The patient wants Cheng to smuggle a cheap Indian version of a leukemia drug into the country for Chinese patients who can’t afford the medicine. Down on his luck Cheng, goes from small time loser to international smuggler, saving lives in the process. But at what personal cost? Based on a dramatic true story that changed drug policy at the national level, DYING TO SURVIVE hit the Chinese zeitgeist, ultimately becoming one of the biggest domestic hits of all time, grossing $453 million at the box-office in China alone!


Legendary action director Yuen Wo Ping draws on a stellar cast (Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, and Max Zhang) to create a hard-hitting martial arts blast worthy of its place in the IP MAN universe. Following his defeat by Master Ip, Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang), tries to make a life with his young son, waiting tables at a bar that caters to expats. But it’s not long before the mix of foreigners, money, and triads draw him once again to the fight.

  • Content and Design Copyright © 2009-2017 Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Built on Airship CMS