at Hong Kong Arts Centre
21 June 2021 - 7pm and 9 pm
Celebrating the unique voices of the world
At its heart, art is about celebrating the unique voice and message that we each possess. Sometimes loud, often quiet, occasionally bold and brash, and perhaps even shy, that singular voice should speak to others and by doing so, help them to better see themselves.
This vision of film as a medium that inspires and challenges - and supporting the filmmakers who create these works - is the mission of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival. Founded in 2015 as an online film festival designed to support filmmakers regardless of their budgets, this prestigious festival celebrates the best of contemporary independent filmmaking. Its works bridge a wide variety of genres - short films, drama, experimental, comedy, horror, slow cinema, sci fi, fantasy, animation, documentary, and more.
Join us at the Hong Kong Arts Centre on June 21 2021.
2020 HKAFF award winners unveiled:
With the 6th edition of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival behind us, we are happy to announce this year's award winners and would like to share with you some photos of the event, check them out below!
Despite COVID-19 still keeping the world in its grip, this year's edition of HKAFF proved to be a success, with a full house – or at least, as full as current regulations would allow. We'd like to thank all of our guests for coming out and enjoying a face-masked evening packed with independent cinema gems. HKAFF was also very pleased to welcome several of the filmmakers: we were joined by Louise Pau (director of Survival HK), Nelson Ng Chak Hei (director of Magic Kingdom) and Elysa Wendi and Shing Lee (director and editor, respectively, of Forgive and Not to Forgive).
Thanks also to #legend for the exposure on their website. “When it comes to rich artistic experiences, Hong Kong does, in fact, have some hidden treasures. [...] The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is kind of like Sundance or Cannes Film Festival, but scaled down to what is still a relatively underground event.” We're blushing!
This year we were privileged to receive over a thousand entries. Twenty wonderful films made it to the final selection for 2020. After lengthy consideration, our jury members thought the following films to be this year's finest:
The prize for the Best Narrative Film went to The Manila Lover (Norway) by Johanna Pyykkö. Forgive and Not to Forgive (Hong Kong) by Elysa Wendi was awarded as Best Documentary Film. The prize for the Best Animated Film went to In Passing (Canada) by Esther Cheung. Field of Infinity (United Kingdom) by Guli Silberstein won Best Experimental Film. Best Underground Film was awarded to Fragile Machines (United States) by Derek Johnson & Luke Smithers. Last but not least, the Best Hong Kong Film award went to Survival HK by Louise Pau.
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival has announced the award winners for the 2019 edition.
HKAFF wishes to say thanks to all the wonderful filmmakers for submitting their work to our festival. This year we were privileged to receive more than 1500 entries. 30 films made it to the selection.
After a marathon screening session at the Hong Kong Arts Centre the members of the jury awarded the following films as the best of the fest.
This year the jury was made up of Alejandro Rodriguez Gomez, Frederic Lichtenstein, Hillian Siu, Nicolas lesaffre, Charlotte Pang and Max Hattler.
The prize for the Best Narrative Film went to River of Oedipus (China) by Yu Daxiong. The prize for the Best Documentary Film was for Shooting Crows (Switzerland) by Christine Hürzeler. The Best Animated Film award went to Flood (Germany) by Malte Stein. Upgrading Happiness (China) by Kwok yee miu won Best Experimental Film. The Best Underground Film award went to Diva & Astro (United States) by Angel Barroeta. Best Music Video award went to Pandemia (Hong Kong) by Yiannis Biliris.
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival has announced the award winners for the 2018 edition.
The prize for the Best Narrative Film went to A Doll's Hug (Taiwan) by Rob Chihhwen Lo. The Kingdom of Men (Hong Kong) by Sham Kwan Yin received the award for Best Hong Kong Film. The prize for the Best Documentary Film was for The Velvet Underground Played at My High School (United States) by Robert Pietri, Tony Jannelli. The Best Animated Film award went to Scandal (Réunion) by Pablo Mengin-Lecreulx. A P E X (United Kingdom) by Stuart T Birchall won Best Experimental Film. Best Music Video award went to The Fool You Need (United States) by Jean-Paul Frenay, a music video for Son Lux.
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival history
Check out our Facebook page for recent updates and the historical news updates on selections and award winners: www.facebook.com/hongkongarthousefilmfestival/
SESSION 1: 21 JUNE, 7PM
Location: Hong Kong Arts Centre
2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Introduction by Jane Ching
Empty States (United Kingdom)
By Jola Kudela
This experimental music video was shot in Holdstone Down. According to the Aertherius Society it’s the place where Jesus – and by Jesus they mean the Earth’s incarnation of an extraterrestrial “Cosmic Master” - appeared to their founder, on the 23rd July 1958. Julia Kent’s music, with its haunting basslines and looped harmonies, is eerie and emotional. Just as Aertherians believe that they can restore balance on Earth with their spiritual energy, so too in this video the darkness and apocalyptic gloom is dispelled by the power of natural harmonies and the Earth organic rhythms. Running time: 00:03:50
Spontaneous (United States)
By Lori Felker
You never know when someone is miscarrying; it could be happening right next to you. Running time: 00:14:00
By Sarah Seené
Lumen (meaning ''light'' in Latin) is a sensory film shot on Super-8 that portrays a young girl with oculocutaneous albinism. Despite the hypersensitivity caused by this genetic disease, the depigmentation of her skin and eyes gives her an extraordinary aura. Running time: 00:01:40
A Fallen Fall (China)
By Enyang Zhang
Hua Yuezhen is a retired piano teacher. Been divorced for many years, Hua also has a strained relationship with her daughter. Knowing that her daughter is leaving her with her grandson to move to Shanghai, Hua has been nostalgic for old family days during her days at hospital (because of a stroke). Although she wants to fix the relationship with her family, her obstinate behaviours always get dominant... Running time: 00:22:22
By Haonan Wang
This is an urban tale of love and sacrifice set in a mysterious restaurant hidden in an alleyway. On an ordinary night, a man eats a lot of herbal plants in front of a woman, transforming himself into the woman’s food. Running time: 00:14:28
By Sylvia Borges
In the age of smartphones an exhibitionist struggles to get the attention he needs. Running time: 00:03:16
Ala Kachuu - Take and Run (Switzerland)
By Maria Brendle
Sezim (19) wants to fulfil her dream of studying in the Kyrgyz capital when she gets kidnapped by a group of young men and taken to the hinterland. There she’s forced to marry a stranger. If she refuses the marriage, she is threatened with social stigmatization and exclusion. Torn between her desire for freedom and the constraints of Kyrgyz culture, Sezim desperately seeks for a way out. Running time: 00:38:26
SESSION 2: 21 JUNE, 9PM
Location: Hong Kong Arts Centre
2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Introduction by Jane Ching
digital love (remix) (Germany)
By Raphaël Languillat + lovemusic
A neonwave audiovisual poem about love, desire and death bringing together an ambient remix of Daft Punk's Digital Love with fragments of William Shakespeare's erotic poem Venus and Adonis. Written and shot during the Covid-19 pandemic, ’digital love (remix)’ focuses on the relationship between gender and couple, intimacy and distancing, as well as desire and death. This work is part of a series of five collaborative audiovisual short-form pieces commissioned by Collective lovemusic for their project 'Premieres in Private Places'. Running time: 00:05:00
Grinder (Hong Kong)
By Japheth Jon-Hoi Blankenship
The concept came from the feeling of cutting the clay. When watching the footage I shot, it almost felt like the clay was being grinded and recycled into different colours; this is where the title came from. The film is expressing the eerie experience of abstract shapes and patterns. Running time: 00:01:00
A Double Caprice at the Asylum (France)
By Stéphane Rizzi
A film found in an abandoned psychiatric institution (circa 1987-2018). Running time: 00:06:10
By Anna Szöllősi
'Helfer' is about a young woman who is struggling with anxiety and recurring nightmares that she wants to end. She seeks out a helper, who offers an alternative solution, but in the process she must confront her greatest fears. The film details their relationship in a surreal world through symbolic events. Running time: 00:09:45
Sisyphus Dreaming (Hong Kong)
By Jas Pun
If Sisyphus were conscious in his dreams, is he still dreaming? A young man one day dreams that he is 'pressed by a ghost'. He then experiences various strange things: a new colleague with a weird pose; a guy with sunglasses at the urinals, a printer that spits letters; and even meeting the bald man who appears in his dream. When the young man gets on a red minibus after work, he finally realizes the meaning of all these strange incidents. Running time: 00:15:35
A Void Without A Face (Macao)
By Lao Keng U
Living together in a household, a daughter born with a birthmark struggles with her estranged mother. As the mother cleans the stains around the house, the birthmark awakens the daughter to trace back to the primal connection of their relationship. Running time: 00:17:00
Bellydance Vogue (Lebanon)
By Hadi Moussally
"My birthday was on the 3rd of April 2020 during lockdown, and for the first time, I celebrated it all by myself. But even if I was alone, I decided to celebrate it as if it’s the last one" This film was made during quarantine. Running time: 00:04:55
200 Cigarettes from Now (China)
By Tianyu Ma
Summer 2019, Xia has a crush on someone who then seems vanished from the world. Fall 2019, Xia drops out of college and moves to Boston, working as a remote screenwriter. Living together with her best friend Jie, a struggling actor, they throw themselves into a faraway filmmaking dream, spending their time together chain-smoking, daydreaming, and just being self-indulgent as if they have all the time in the world to kill. Youth is supposed to be wasted and therefore never long-lasting. Xia puts all her efforts into retaining the summer while vainly looking for her disappeared crush. Jie has to move away. Xia knows that last summer is never coming back when the first snow arrives on time. Running time: 00:47:06
SUBMIT YOUR WORK
The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival accepts all forms and genres: short films, medium length films, feature films, drama, experimental, comedy, horror, slow cinema, sci fi, fantasy, animation, documentary,... Go to our Filmfreeway listing to enter your film.
All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $250. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here:
All selected films are also automatically in the running for Producer's Night. Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening presented by Cinematory, Tarkovski, and Hollywood producer Bhavani Rao, member of the PGA, will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. The only way to be considered for this by being selected at one of the partner film festivals. Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is a proud partner film festival of Producer's Night. More information:
In an added effort to support new and emerging filmmakers, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival will offer a free year of access to Videomaker's digital magazine to all filmmakers submitting their work to the 2021 edition. Videomaker Magazine is dedicated to video production, features tips and tricks for shooting and editing, buyer's guides for equipment, and editorial content on the industry of film. More information:
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Experimental Short Film
Best Hong Kong Short Film
RULES & TERMS
The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen MP4.
EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Week. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.
The filmmaker holds the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.