Alan Mak Siu Fai was born in Hong Kong in 1965. In 1986, he studied in the School of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performance Arts. Upon graduation in 1990, he started his movie career.
Mak made his directorial debut in 1997, with his first film being Nude Fear, which was written and produced by Joe Ma. After that, Mak had directed more films such as Rave Fever (1999), A War Named Desire (2000), Final Romance (2001), and Stolen Love (2001), which would be his first collaboration with writer Felix Chong.
In 2002, Mak and Chong wrote their first script together. It was for the movie Infernal Affairs, which was produced by Mak's directing partner Andrew Lau (Andrew Lau), who also served as cinematographer. Lau and Mak also served as directors for the film, and it would be the first of many collaborations involving the directing duo.
The film starred the four top actors of its year--Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Eric Tsang and Anthony Chau-Sang Wong--along with the year's two top actresses--Kelly Chen and Sammi Cheng.
Infernal Affairs was the number one box-office hit in Hong Kong that year, breaking several box office records alone. Furthermore, the film won many Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture, Best Directors (Lau and Mak), Best Screenplay (Mak and co-writer Chong), and Best Supporting Actor (Wong). Infernal Affairs also went on win awards at the 40th Golden Horse Awards and the Golden Bauhinia Awards.
Not only was the film successful worldwide, but it later became the inspiration for Martin Scorsese's 2006 film, The Departed (2006).
In 2003, Lau and Mak had completed the trilogy with the prequel Infernal Affairs II and the sequel/prequel Infernal Affairs III. That same year, Mak received the '2003 Leader of the Year' award in the Sports/Culture/Entertainment category. This honor has made Mak's accomplishment scale new heights.
In 2004, Lau and Mak worked on another blockbuster, Initial D, which was shot in Japan and released in Hong Kong during the summer. Once again, it was also another successful film for Lau and Mak, winning multiple awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, winning for Best New Performer (Jay Chou), Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Chau-Sang Wong), and Best Visual Effects.
In 2006, Lau, Mak and scriptwriter Felix Chong re-teamed to make the 2005 film, Moonlight in Tokyo. They re-teamed again for the 2006 film Confessions of Pain, once again re-teaming with Infernal Affairs star Tony Chiu-Wai Leung.
To this day, along with his partners, Andrew Lau, and Felix Chong, Alan Mak, as a prolific director, continues to make films, that will continue to challenge and appeal a mass audience.