The First Girl I Loved

ITALIAN PREMIERE

The First Girl I Loved
喜歡妳是妳 (Hei fun neih sih neih)

Hong Kong, 2021, 95’, Cantonese
Directed by: Candy Ng, Yeung Chiu-hoi
Screenplay: Candy Ng, Yeung Chiu-hoi, Susan Sin
Photography (color): O Sing-pui
Editing: Candy Ng, Yeung Chiu-hoi, Anita Chu
Art Direction: Janet Chan, Chan Miu-ling
Music: Day Tai, Labrae Lee
Producers: Teddy Robin, Patrick Tong, O Sing-pui
Cast: Hedwig Tam (Lee Wing-nam), Renci Yeung (Sylvia Lee), Stephen Au (Wing’s father), Teresa Mak (Wing’s mother), Wai Kar-hung (Sylvia’s father), Eileen Tong (Sylvia’s mother), Adam Wong (Mr Wong), Chan Kin-long (Long) 

Date of First Release in Territory: November 25th, 2021


When filmmaker Wing Lee (Hedwig Tam) is asked to be maid of honour at the wedding of old classmate Sylvia Lee (Renci Yeung), the occasion spurs her to recall their high-school romance and try to resolve its lingering issues. 
Jumping back to 2001, the bittersweet coming-of-age story of The First Girl I Loved picks up as Wing and Silvia are best friends at an all-girls Catholic school. Wing is a strait-laced model student and sports a prefect badge on her sweater, and she quietly harbours a crush on her art teacher. Sylvia on the other hand is the more care-free and spontaneous of the two, and one day she lets the teacher see a love letter Wing wrote for him. When the mortified Wing demands an explanation, Sylvia calmly whispers the words “Because I love you, dummy” in her ear.
After the shock wears off and the situation is left unspoken for a while, the pair start to be drawn closer than ever. Soon they’re cutting class together, re-enacting movie scenes, play acting their wedding in the school chapel, and engulfed in puppy love. But a major obstacle is headed their way when a teacher spots them kissing on a minibus, and the girls' differing responses to the ensuing fuss will have ramifications for years to come.
In the hands of new directors Candy Ng and Yeung Chiu-hoi, the tale of the two girls’ romance often plays as a gorgeous little nostalgia piece. The jump back to school days comes with references to early 2000s cultural touchstones and the drama is captured in dreamy pastel tones. The filmmakers also use gentle humour to help lighten up major turns in the two girls’ relationship, like when Wing’s father cheerily shrugs off his wife’s hysterics over the same-sex pairing. The story also takes intriguing turns, not least with Wing and Sylvia swapping character traits as adults – one plunges into her friend’s dream career, while the other opts for more mundane choices.
Lead actresses Hedwig Tam and Renci Yeung offer charming portrayals of Wing and Sylvia, their roles covering frisky youth scenes and sombre moments too. By the time The First Girl I Loved returns to the present day, they’ve earned the attention of viewers keen to see some form of resolution in their relationship. Ng and Yeung’s script may not be heavy on detail as the story progresses, with occasional sudden turns popping up without explanation, but the breezy direction and winning performances ensure The First Girl I Loved plays out as an alluring piece of youth romance cinema.


Candy Ng

Candy Ng graduated from the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong. While studying, she already worked as editor and assistant director for TV and film, and after graduation she became active in video production, commercials and music videos. Her recent work in film included planning and production manager roles before making her debut as feature director with The First Girl I Loved (2021).

FILMOGRAPHY

2021 – The First Girl I Loved (co-director)

Yeung Chiu-hoi

A graduate of the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media, Yeung Chiu-hoi went on to study drama, music and film at the University of Illinois and do further acting studies in New York. He then became an actor for Hong Kong broadcaster TVB and got involved in short films too. His first feature as director was The First Girl I Loved (2021).

FILMOGRAPHY

2021 – The First Girl I Loved (co-director)
Tim Youngs
Film director: Candy NG, YEUNG Chiu-hoi
Year: 2021
Running time: 95'
Country: Hong Kong
30/04 - 2:45 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
30-04-2022 14:45 30-04-2022 16:20Europe/Rome The First Girl I Loved Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org
ONLINE worldwide (except Asia) for the whole duration of the Festival

Photogallery