Hong Kong Film Director Johnnie To
Johnnie To Kei-Fung (Simplified Chinese: 杜琪峰；born：22 April 1955) is a Hong Kong film director and producer. Popular in his native Hong Kong, To has also found acclaim overseas. Intensely prolific, To has made films in a variety of genres, though in the West he is best known for his action and crime movies, which have earned him critical respect and a cult following.
His films, often made in collaboration with the same group of actors, screenwriters and cinematographers, frequently explore themes of friendship, fate and the changing face of Hong Kong society. Sometimes described as "multifaceted and chameleonic" due to his ability to switch tones and genres between movies, To is nonetheless seen as having a consistent style, which involves mixing subdued realism and social observation with highly stylized visual and acting elements.
To heads the Hong Kong-based production company Milkyway Image with his frequent co-director Wai Ka-Fai.
Johnnie To's Film Career
Johnnie To began his career at age 17 as a messenger for the Hong Kong television studio TVB. From there To moved up the ladder, working as an executive producer and director on TV shows starting in 1973. In 1978, he shot his first theatrical feature, but continued working in television.
An assistant TV director in the Shaw Studios era, To became famous when his 1989 film All About Ah-Long, starring Chow Yun-fat, became one of the biggest box office hits in that year. In 1988, he co-directed The Big Heat, his first action movie. The film was produced by Tsui Hark. The end of the 1980s also saw some of To's biggest commercial successes, the vast majority of which were comedies. His 1988 film The Eighth Happiness was that year's highest grossing movie.
In 1996, To and frequent collaborator Wai Ka-Fai formed Milkyway Image, a production house that specializes in cost-efficient independent films made by To and Wai, as well their frequent collaborators from Law Wing-Cheong to scriptwriter Yau Nai-Hoi.
In April 2011, it was announced that he would be a member of the jury for the main competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
His 2011 film Life Without Principle was selected as the Hong Kong entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.