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Dr Wong Ying-wai

A distinguished entrepreneur and an influential social leader, Dr the Hon Wilfred Wong Ying-wai plays a vital role as a bridge between the government, business, arts and film sectors.

Dr the Hon Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, GBM, GBS, JP
Chairman, Hong Kong Film Development Council
Board Member and Principal Member, CityU Foundation

Dr Wong spent nearly two decades working in the Hong Kong government before transitioning to the business sector. Looking back on his journey, he recalls the challenge of stepping out of his comfort zone. “I was 39 years old at the time and had accumulated a considerable level of experience. I had also learnt about a much bigger world after pursuing further studies at institutions like the University of Oxford as part of my overseas training. After discussion with my wife, I decided to take a leap of faith.”

Currently, Dr Wong is busily running his company while also actively participating in public services. He finds great fulfilment in his roles, considering it a blessing to have both the opportunity and the capability to contribute, particularly in the areas of film and the arts, which he is deeply passionate about. After serving as Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) for more than 10 years, he is now Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC) and the Asian Film Awards Academy, to name just a few of his positions.

His biggest satisfaction comes from applying his knowledge and experience to contribute to society. As Chairman of the HKADC, his goals were to set the direction of development for the Council and enhance communication between the government and the arts sector. His challenges revolved around reflecting the needs of the arts industry to the government while establishing a fair system of resource allocation that would benefit all parties.

Nurturing young talent is another important mission of Dr Wong. Since the HKFDC set up the First Feature Film Initiative in 2013, which includes the Higher Education Institution Group, its funding has enabled many new directors to realise their dreams. One of them is Mr Chan Kin-long, a CityU alumnus, who won the Best New Director award at the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards for his first feature film, Hand Rolled Cigarette.

Dr Wong commended CityU for its impressive development in various areas in recent years, including the notable achievements of the School of Creative Media. The School recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and received a number of scholarships from prominent figures in the film industry, including the “Wilfred Wong Film Development Scholarships” generously donated by Dr Wong.

Although local young filmmakers face a lot of challenges, Dr Wong pointed out that the government is actively supporting them. For instance, it often arranges screenings of local productions in overseas cities to introduce new directors and actors from Hong Kong, and provides funding for collaborations with counterparts in European and Asian countries. Dr Wong believes that Hong Kong films will see another golden age in the future, as long as we continue to nurture new talent.

Dr Wong encourages young people by advising them that “nothing is impossible in the world” if they dedicate themselves to pursuing the goal after finding a suitable one. Life is a process full of decision-making. There’s no harm in making a wrong choice; the most important thing is to learn a lesson and make necessary adjustments afterwards, he added.

 

Dr the Hon Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, GBM, GBS, JP

  • President and Executive Director of Sands China Limited
  • Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council
  • Chairman of the Asian Film Awards Academy
  • Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society
  • Chairman of the Hong Kong Institute for Public Administration
  • Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (2011 - 2022)
  • Board Member and Principal Member of the CityU Foundation
  • Grand Bauhinia Medal, HKSAR (2022)
  • Gold Bauhinia Star, HKSAR (2015)
  • Silver Bauhinia Star, HKSAR (2007)
  • Justice of the Peace (2003)

This article is extracted from CityU Today.

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