Film News: Season Nine of Asian Pop-Up Cinema Honors Kenneth Tsang on Closing Night

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CHICAGO – Season Nine of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) had a grand finale on its Closing Night on October 10th, 2019, by honoring one of the most prolific character actors in Hong Kong cinema with a Lifetime Achievement Award … the incomparable Kenneth Tsang. The actor, who has also appeared in Western films like “Die Another Day” and “Rush Hour 2,” began his career in 1955 and has over 250 credits in his long career.

The Lifetime Achievement Award night was special, as it also served to introduce the newest Director of the Chicago Film Office, Kwame Amoaku, who presented the award to Kenneth Tsang.

APUC Honored Actor Kenneth Tsang (left) with Sophia Wong Bocchio and Presenter Kwame Amoaku
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for

After a false start in the film industry, Kenneth Tsang studied architecture at Berkeley in San Francisco. When he settled back in Hong Kong he couldn’t connect to a building design career, so he went back to acting in films. The Chinese and Hong Kong film industry was an assembly line in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Tsang took full advantage of it, racking up an astounding 60 films from 1967 through 1970. Eventually, his path crossed with legendary Hong Kong director John Woo, with roles in “A Better Tomorrow” and “The Killer.” In his later career, he’s appeared in mainstream films like “Anna and the King” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Kenneth Tsang received the APUC Lifetime Achievement Award before the screening of his latest film, “The Attorney.”

Kenneth Tsang Accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award from Kwame Amoaku
Photo credit:

The Lifetime Achievement ceremony was part of the program-packed Season Nine of APUC, as their new format (multiple films per week) highlighted a different Asian country or theme every week. APUC is facilitated by founder and veteran film programmer Sophia Wong Bocchio, and Season Nine featured films from South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, among others. The films mainly screen at Chicago’s AMC River East 21, with various other locations throughout the season (click link below at the end of the article for more details).

On Page Two, Patrick McDonald has a Podtalk with director Christopher Sun and Producer/Lead Actor Justin Cheung of the Hong Kong film, “Deception of a Novelist.”

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