Mr Lai Man Wai



A trailblazer in Chinese film history, Lai Man Wai was active in the early decades of the 20th century, an era synonymous with the dawn of Hong Kong cinema. Together with his brothers, Lai Hoi Shan and Lai Buk Hoi, he founded the New World Cinema and China Sun Motion Picture Company. He was involved in the production of Hong Kong’s first short feature film, Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife (1914), as well as the city’s first full-length feature, Rouge (1925). Lai was also a pioneering documentarist who, in 1923, went to Japan to record the Sixth Far Eastern Championship Games, and to Beijing to film a performance by Peking opera artist Mei Lanfang. During the Northern Expedition, a military campaign led by Chiang Kai-Shek in the 1920s, Lai travelled to the front line to shoot footage that was subsequently edited into the documentary A Page of History in 1941. In 1926, Lai founded China Sun Shanghai. The studio explored different subjects and filming techniques, and produced epics such as Way Down West (1927) and Mulan Joins the Army (1928). In 1930, China Sun became Lianhua Studios through a merger. Lianhua nurtured a generation of actors, including Ruan Lingyu, Jin Yan, Li Lili and Chen Yanyan, and made dozens of classics of Chinese cinema.

黎民偉先生 Mr Lai Man Wai