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Reel Asian 2013: Hong Kong Superstar Simon Yam Makes his Directorial Debut in Tales from the Dark Part 1

simon-yam The centrepiece feature of this years Reel Asian Film Festival is the Hong Kong horror anthology film , which consists of three stories about ghosts seeking retribution.  One of the three segments is entitled Stolen Goods and is the directorial debut for internationally acclaimed Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, who also stars in the segment.  Yam has starred in over 170 films over the course of his career, which includes roles in the films Election (2005), S.P.L. (2005), IP Man (2008), and (2013).  In 2010, Yam won Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in the film Echoes of the Rainbow.

In describing why he picked a ghost movie for his directorial debut, Yam said that they give him a lot of space to think.  He also said that ghost movies are one of the three types of iconic movies in Hong Kong, along with gangster and police films.  Yam stated that he to make a ghost movie that was very local to Hong Kong, with a human touch to .  In preparation for the film, Yam would describe waking at 2am and walking in his garden, in order to get into the atmosphere of the story.  While on set, Yam would encourage his actors to just feel the atmosphere and act naturally, to the point that nobody was given the script.  Yams segment of Tales from Part 1 was filmed in only eight days, which ended up being just enough time for him, even though he had asked the producers for another two days and was refused. stolengoods Yam described the message of Stolen Goods as being about cherishing the time people have with each other.  Yam also states that he was heavily inspired by the Hong Kong society of today and how the poor people and rich people interact.  In fact, the ghost is only a package to tell a story about how difficult it is for the poor to survive in todays Hong Kong.  In doing the research for this story, Yam sought to reach out to the people living with limited means in todays Hong Kong, because he was poor himself.  Through this experience, he was able to get to know these people more and it made for a film, in which people can see what is happening. TALES FROM THE DARK PART 1 screens 8:00pm tonight at the Royal Cinema, with Simon Yam in attendance for an intro and Q&A.

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