21 June 2019 - 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.
This year the jury was made up of Alejandro Rodriguez Gomez, Frederic Lichtenstein, Hillian Siu, Nicolas lesaffre, Charlotte Pang and Max Hattler. 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.
The prize for the Best Narrative Film went to River of Oedipus (China) by Yu Daxiong. On the surface level, it seems that this movie simply tells the story of a procuress who was on her way bring back the runaway singing girl, being killed by a hatchet man, the one (boatman) who was involved in trafficking women for the upper class, after she saw through his tricks. In fact, what is implying in this movie is that the procuress shared the same fate as the singing girl. When she was at her age, she was also forced to be parted from her son, who she left a jade pendant to, hoping that she might recognize him in days to come. However, it turned out at last that the boatman was her lost son.
Resonance (Hong Kong) by Edouard Tardan was awarded as Best Hong Kong Film. Hong Kong 2050: a beautiful but malfunctioning Android is lost in the narrow dark alleys of the megapolis. When a mysterious robotic engineer from the mighty F corporation offers to help, they must embark on a journey where survival may well be secondary to seeking the meaning of existence.
The prize for the Best Documentary Film was for Shooting Crows (Switzerland) by Christine Hürzeler. A park in the fog. Crows flap and caw in the sky. A homeless man sleeps between the trees. Now and then a crow is shot: as a deterrent. The crows rally after every shot. A woman disappears. The police gather evidence. What is really going on? Are reality and imagination slowly blurring?
The Best Animated Film award went to Flood (Germany) by Malte Stein. A dirty lake bursts its banks and begins to flood the town. At last there´s a good reason to keep the son at home. But in isolation, nightmarish associations start to mix with reality. And whilst outside the world sinks peacefully under water, a domestic apocalypse rages inside.
Upgrading Happiness (China) by Kwok yee miu won Best Experimental Film. It is a day of Hong Kong after 1997. "Handover" to China represents another instance of colonization. When the freedom is disappearing, and living space is so limited. People in the city embrace technology and desire for happiness. The new model of Hi-tech machine launches every day, and people buy their updates and upgrade to escape from reality. At the end of the story, the citizen deforms becomes the product of an era of Re-colonization.
The Best Underground Film award went to Diva & Astro (United States) by Angel Barroeta. A streetwise posse idly roams the evening in the hood they call home. Diva and Astro follow parallel paths in real time, hurtling irrevocably toward the consequences of the habits they find hardest to overcome.
Best Music Video award went to Pandemia (Hong Kong) by Yiannis Biliris. The messaging. The infinite social media scrolling. People are multitasking between games and the stock market, watching movies whilst skipping continuously 15 seconds ahead - all of this while even crossing the street.
Official selection 2019:
Salt Water (U.S.) by Abe Abraham
Cycle/Lake (Portugal) by
Rhizoma (Belgium) by Santiago Pérez Rodríguez
Shooting Crows (Switzerland) by Christine Hürzeler
Theory of Relativity (Hong Kong) by Yiannis Biliris
River of Oedipus (China) by Yu Daxiong
Lil' Tiger (Hong Kong) by Nicola Fan
reading wild lands (dispersal 6-18-048-02 W5) (Canada) by Alana Bartol
A Walk (Russian Federation) by Ivan Arkhipov
Monolith (Canada) by
Upgrading Happiness (Hong Kong) by Kwok yee miu
The mind of an artist (U.K.) by Xinning Liu
Cathedral (Hong Kong) by Ivan Li
House (Japan) by Atobe Hiroshi
Emergence (Australia) by Alex Vivian
Reduction Study (Ping Pong) (U.S.) by Joanna Tam
Flut (Flood) (Germany) by Malte Stein
Protozigmatu (U.S.) by Stephen Rutterford, Teshnakamura
Yellow Mountain (China) by Xinyi Yang
Abstract Concrete (U.K.) by Stephan Dilley
Dispersion (Switzerland) by Basile Vuillemin
Diva & Astro (U.S.) by Angel Barroeta
Onikuma (Italy) by Alessia Cecchet
Resonance (Hong Kong) by Edouard Tardan
Passage (Canada) by Henry Colin
Make Up Your Mind (Hong Kong) by
Room 264 (Australia) by Brodie May Rowlands
Nap With Roger - Paris (U.S.) by Victor Mignatti
Pandemia (Hong Kong) by Yiannis Biliris