Celebrating UNESCO's 'World Day for Audiovisual Heritage'


Since 2005, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 27 October as 'World Day for Audiovisual Heritage' to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual heritage to regional culture, and to enhance public knowledge of the preservation of audiovisual heritage. This year, the Hong Kong Film Archive will present two treasured films from our collection, Peony Pavilion (2001) and Breaking the Willow (2003).

Kunqu is an early form of Chinese opera, often regarded as the source of all operatic genres. In 2001, it was included in UNESCO's list of 'Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'. Director Yonfan fell in love with kunqu after watching a performance of The Palace of Eternal Life by the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe. Without elaborate set decorations, kunqu artists staged a remarkable rendition of the classic ‘The Song of Everlasting Sorrow'. The audience was profoundly moved and Yonfan, carrying with him memories of that profound experience, made Peony Pavilion in 2001, following that two years later with Breaking the Willow.

Yonfan digitally restored these two films in 2022. He also authorised the Archive to present the premiere of the restored version of Breaking the Willow at the Archive on 27 October on the ‘World Day for Audiovisual Heritage' as well as premiering the 4K restored version of Peony Pavilion at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 5 November. Both films, marked by a notable integration of cinema and opera, are must-see items for devotees and fans of film and opera.

Enjoy 20% discount for every purchase of a pair of regular-priced tickets of different screenings. Please see Ticketing Information for details.

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

Film Screenings

Screening Schedule

Ticketing Information