Mr Lai Pak Hoi



A pioneer of Hong Kong cinema, Lai Pak-hoi was involved in the making of the first Hong Kong short film, Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife (1914), and a decade later, directed Hong Kong’s first full-length drama, Rouge (1925). He was active as a producer, director, scriptwriter and actor in the silent era. From 1921-1923, he set up New World Cinema and China Sun Motion Picture Company with his brothers Lai Hoi Shan and Lai Man Wai. After the Canton-Hong Kong Strike in the mid-1920s, he established Hong Kong Film Company with the support of business tycoon Hysan Lee, and went on to helm The Witty Sorcerer (1931), the first film to be made after the strike. In 1930, Lai headed the Hong Kong branch of Shanghai’s United Photoplay and served as an instructor in the studio’s training school. He had a hand in grooming numerous actors and film professionals, including Ng Cho Fan and Lee Tit. In the 1930s, Lai founded China Sound and Silent Movies Production Company and made The Idiot’s Wedding Night (1933), an important work that marked the turning point from silent to sound film production.