Following the success of 2019’s âSuk Sukâ in which he examined the late love of two elderly men, the Hong Kong-based filmmaker Ray yeung proposes to take an adjacent track in his next film “Todayâ¦ Tomorrowâ¦”
After the death of her partner, a lesbian in her 60s finds herself at the mercy of the partner’s family as she struggles to fight for the home the two women have shared for more than thirty years.
Yeung aims to turn the project for $ 600,000 early next year. And having gathered 40% of this total, he is now seeking to complete the budget by throwing it to the Pusan ââInternational Film FestivalAsian projects market. Remarkably, he was also selected for three other project events – the Rome MIA, the Tokyo Gap-Financing Market and the Golden Horse Film Project Promotion market – in quick succession.
Production is being handled by Michael J. Werner and Teresa Kwong via New Voice Film Productions.
Yeung says that “Today … Tomorrow …” is neither a mirror image of the male-centric story of “Suk Suk”, nor an account of a recent court case in Hong Kong, in where the surviving partner of a married gay couple won a battle to manage the funeral arrangements of the deceased partner. Rather, it is an examination of how society fails to recognize that lesbian women’s relationships are real.
âLesbian couples are almost neglected in Asia. They are tacitly accepted, treated like sisters or best friends. Couples are silent and people are ambiguous about them. They can be accepted as part of the family, but are not really recognized, âsays Yeung. But closing your eyes when they’re together means issues are just stored for later. âWhen there is a change, everything emerges. All the prejudices come out, and almost overnight this person is no longer a member of the family, âhe says.
Yeung says he started writing the draft about 18 months ago after attending a conference on inheritance rights in the LGBT community and before the Henry and Edgar case went to court. (The case was settled in recent weeks when the Hong Kong government said it would not discriminate between straight and same-sex spouses in funeral services.) After the interview, Yeung was presented to a woman in her sixties who had lost everything when her unmarried partner died.
âMy film is a family drama about a lesbian couple. But straight couples who are not married could face similar problems, âsays Yeung. âIt’s also about exploring the older generation in Hong Kong. If she had been twenty years younger, would she have [the protagonist] fought differently?
Yeung doesn’t expect the completed film to be allowed to be shown in mainland China, which is facing a worrying conservative crackdown for LGBT rights. But, for now, Hong Kong’s political and cinematic turmoil does not appear to have completely eroded the territory’s more liberal approach to LGBT society and gay cinema.
Yeung says the request for government funding for the project has been in limbo for eight months since February. But, on the other hand, the 32 titles subject to censorship by the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, of which Yeung is the organizer, have been approved.
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