Celebrating Ann Hui Season

A special season dedicated to one of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed directors, featuring five of her key works spanning more than five decades of award-winning filmmaking

Hailed as one of the most important filmmakers of the Hong Kong New Wave, director, producer, screenwriter and actress Ann Hui is known for deeply humanistic works exploring a wide range social issues, in particular the stories of women. The recipient of a long list of awards at prestigious festivals, including a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice in 2020, Hui’s films all have in common a blend of moving storytelling, grounded drama and cinematic poetry that has touched audiences around the world. Despite this, relatively few of her films have screened or are available to view in the UK, a sad state of affairs which has left many of her key works unseen.

The Celebrating Ann Hui Season gives audiences a chance to explore Hui’s career from her debut through to her most recent work, offering a comprehensive programme of films from different stages of her cinematic practice on the big screen. Films include a rare screening of her little-seen but highly acclaimed feature debut The Secret (1979), award-winning refugee drama Boat People (1982), Summer Snow (1995) and A Simple Life (2011), moving mediations on the nature of family and generational differences, and Elegies (2023), a long-planned passion project delving into Hong Kong history and culture through her love of poetry.

The season finishes with a look back at Hui’s work through a special screening of Man Lim-chung’s acclaimed documentary Keep Rolling (2020), featuring interviews and archival footage exploring her forty years in the film industry against the backdrop of a changing Hong Kong.

This season is a joint presentation by Focus Hong Kong and The Garden Cinema’s Chinese Cinema Project strand.

Related films

The Secret

A rare screening of the debut feature by legendary Hong Kong director Ann Hui, digitally restored to its original splendour

Boat People

Among the most important films to come out of the Hong Kong New Wave, Ann Hui’s film focuses on the experiences of refugees forced to flee their country

Summer Snow

A brave, pioneering example of a Hong Kong film taking up the subject of old age and its accompanying ailments in a serious, dignified manner

A Simple Life

Ann Hui’s multiple award-winning film is a story of care, trust, and relationships that transcend blood ties and redefine the concept of a family


Ann Hui’s latest feature is a deeply personal documentary exploring Hong Kong through her love of poetry

Keep Rolling

Celebrating Ann Hui Season comes to a close with an acclaimed documentary looking back at her career through candid conversations and rare archival footage