Sparrow (2008 film)


Promotional poster
Directed by Johnnie To
Produced by Johnnie To
Written by Chan Kin-Chung
Fung Chih-chiang
Milkyway Creative Team
Starring Simon Yam
Kelly Lin
Gordon Lam
Law Wing-cheung
Kenneth Cheung
Music by Xavier Jamaux
Fred Avril
Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung
Edited by David M. Richardson
Universe Entertainment
Milkyway Image
Distributed by Universe Films Distribution Co. Ltd.
China Film Group
Release dates
  • 11 February 2008 (2008-02-11) (Berlinale)
  • 19 June 2008 (2008-06-19) (Hong Kong)
Running time
87 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Box office $3,547,972[1]

Sparrow (Chinese: 文雀; pinyin: Wen que; Cantonese Yale: Man jeuk) is a 2008 Hong Kong caper film produced and directed by Johnnie To. The film stars veteran Milkyway Image cast and crew alumni Simon Yam, Gordon Lam, Law Wing-cheung and Kenneth Cheung as a small gang of pickpockets, with each member being mysteriously approached by a beautiful Taiwanese woman (Kelly Lin) with a hidden agenda.

Sparrow remained in pre-production for three years from 2005 to 2008, with To shooting the film in between other projects. The film was selected in competition at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival, premiering during the festival in February 2008. It was released in Hong Kong on 19 June 2008.


Kei (Simon Yam) is the experienced leader of a team of pickpockets.(Pickpockets are also known as "Sparrows" in Hong Kong slang). He enjoys a carefree lifestyle taking photos with his vintage Rolleiflex. One day a dashing beauty, Chun-Lei (Kelly Lin), suddenly appears in Kei's viewfinder. Kei is mesmerized. Every member of his team has an encounter with her.... But behind Chun-lei's attractive facade lies a mysterious past and a mission to set herself free.


Role Actor
Kei/The Sparrow Simon Yam
Chung Chun-lei Kelly Lin
Bo Gordon Lam
Sak Law Wing-cheung
Mac Kenneth Cheung
Fu Kim-tong Lo Hoi-pang
Lung Lam Suet


Director Johnnie To shot the film in Hong Kong over a three-year period. In an interview, To said he and his crew would shoot every three or four months between projects.[2]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Name Outcome
45th Golden Horse Film Awards Best Original Film Score Xavier Jamaux, Fred Avril Nominated
Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Won
28th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Director Johnnie To Nominated
Best Actor Simon Yam Nominated
Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Nominated
Best Film Editing David M. Richardson Nominated
Best Original Film Score Xavier Jamaux, Fred Avril Nominated
3rd Asian Film Awards Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Nominated
2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Feature Film Nominated
Best Achievement in Directing Johnnie To Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor Simon Yam Nominated
Best Achievement in Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Nominated
Berlin International Film Festival
Year Award Result
2008 Golden Bear In Competition

See also


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