Peter LAM Kin-ngok
2011 Honorary Doctorate
Peter Lam Kin-ngok is the third-generation scion of one of Hong Kong’s oldest Teochew families from Chaoyang in Guangdong Province. He is the Deputy Chairman of Lai Sun Garment (International) Limited, an enterprise created in 1947 by his late father Lim Por-yen, a textile tycoon and philanthropist. Lai Sun Garment, publicly listed in 1972, is now a conglomerate with substantial business interests in property development and investment, hotel operations and management, and media and entertainment in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.
Mr Lam was first educated in Hong Kong and then the United States. On his return to the territory in the 80s, he started working for his father, acquiring his business acumen and determination that comes from learning with the master. While managing the family business, Mr Lam was increasingly drawn to his longtime passion – the entertainment business, an interest kept alive by his understanding of the perations of Asia Television Limited, in the days when his family was the broadcaster’s biggest shareholder.
In 1994, Mr Lam took the helm at Media Asia Entertainment Group, which has since become a major player in the film industry through producing and co-financing over 60 Chinese language movies, many of which have received recognition for their artistic merits, as well as being box-office hits. These include Aftershock (2010), The Founding of a Republic (2009), City of Life and Death (2009), If You Are The One (2008), The Warlords (2007), The Assembly (2007), Confession of Pain (2006), The Banquet (2006), Exiled (2006), Initial D (2005), and Wait ‘Til You’re Older (2005). One of the Group’s biggest successes came in 2002 and 2003 with the production of the Infernal Affairs trilogy, a thrilling tale of good versus evil in three parts. Collectively, these films won a total of 44 awards both locally and internationally. Infernal Affairs was remade by Martin Scorsese in 2006 as The Departed, which received four major awards at the Academy Awards in 2007, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Not only did this bring Hong Kong cinema into the international arena, it also gave fresh impetus to the local film industry.
Through the years, Media Asia’s films have won over 140 awards at major international film festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Tokyo, and Pusan; and at award ceremonies including the Golden Horse Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards. In his personal capacity, Mr Lam received several awards for his distinguished contributions to the industry including Outstanding Producer in Asia Pacific at the 51st Asia Pacific Film Festival in 2006, Producer of the Year Award at CineAsia 2009, and Producer with the Greatest Contribution from Radio Television Hong Kong at a 2009 event to mark the centenary of the local film industry.
Mr Lam’s phenomenal success in the movie industry has been the result of his enterprising spirit and an unwavering belief in his audience in the Cantonese-speaking Guangdong Province of China, where the dialect is used by 100 million people. He is of the view that with the Mainland’s growing sophistication in the development of its own movie industry, the synergy between Hong Kong and Mainland professionals is becoming increasingly more seamless, opening up infinite opportunities for both.
With the same conviction, Mr Lam manages the family’s eSun Holdings Limited as its Executive Director, integrating business interests in film, television and drama, music and events management. Through eSun’s subsidiary companies, A-list stars such as Sammi Cheng, Andy Lau and Miriam Yeung continue to entertain audience in Hong Kong and overseas with their many mega-productions.
As a devoted son of Hong Kong, Mr Lam looks beyond his own business and is committed to contributing to the well-being of Hong Kong and its development as a hub for movie production. Driven by his confidence that deeper mutual understanding can pave the way for more cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong, Mr Lam has been a tireless campaigner for the facilitation of the sharing of professional standards and good practices. In his capacity as a member of the Eleventh National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, he acts as an effective link between the Mainland authorities and the film industry to enhance the operating environment for Hong Kong professionals who have an eye on the Mainland market.
Mr Lam’s many key roles in the local business community, as Chairman of the Entertainment Industry Advisory Committee of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, Member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and Founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Films place him in an unparalled position for commenting on the subjects that matter, and the messages he brought home have special resonance.
As a staunch supporter of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Mr Lam appreciates the quality of education that it offers and is dedicated to help nurture this talent. He is keen to create career opportunities for Academy graduates in the belief that they will come into their own when given the opportunity to work with the best in the industry.
As to the secret of his success, and his seemingly effortless ability to balance the myriad calls upon his time, Mr Lam accredits this to a fine family tradition: hard work. Mr Lam counts his working day not by the hour but by the completion of each day’s tasks.
With his success as an entertainment mogul and his contribution to the industry in Hong Kong, Mr Lam is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the film industry not only in Hong Kong and Greater China, but also in Asia and beyond.