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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 20 2022.

Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival

Proud partner of The Bigger Screen

Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is a proud partner of The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. We support their different programs on both sides of the screen: behind the screen, encouraging and supporting filmmakers in their quest to spread their work through grants and opportunity, as well as in front of the screen, by welcoming audiences to enjoy this art form, no matter what their social or financial status is. A short overview:

Connecting Cultures Program: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission.

Local Filmmakers Program: We understand that the cost of making a film can be taxing, so to encourage rising talent, we waive the festival submission fee to local talent. With numerous worldwide locations for festivals, this provides great opportunity for filmmakers around the world to enter the international film scene. This opportunity opens the world of film. Think global, act local, right?

Inclusive Audience Program: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.

The Tarkovski Grant: 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.


HKAFF announces winners of 2021 edition

The 7th edition of the Hong Kong Arthouse Festival took place in wonderful company at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. We'd like to thank all of our guests for coming out and enjoying a face-masked evening of independent cinema gems.


This year's program included 17 wonderful short films hailing from the U.K, Canada, the U.S, Germany, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Lebanon, China, Macao, and Hong Kong. We are happy to share with you today the 2021 Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival award winners.


The award for Best Narrative Film went to Ala Kachuu - Take and Run (Switzerland) by Maria Brendle. “Human's "traditional culture" is not always a good thing”, notes one jury member. Brendle's film was a clear favorite of the night, with the jury praising everything from the writing, to the editing, to the film's lead actress performance. “Absolutely stunning and phenomenal. Truly painful and depressing.”


Spontaneous (United States) by Lori Felker was given the prize for Best Documentary Film. “An honest confession of how a woman feels about miscarriage and being a woman,” wrote one jury member. The narration and visuals in particular were very much enjoyed.

Best Animated Film was awarded Helfer (Hungary) by Anna Szöllősi. The jury team loved this “great minimalist animation.” The film's symbolism, use of special effects and music stood out especially.


Lumen (Canada) by Sarah Seené received the award for Best Experimental Film. “The distortion created by the super 8 film represented the film's idea really well,” adds one of this year's jury members.


Best Underground Film went to A Void Without A Face (Macao) by Lao Keng U. The jury notes: “A very well made film, with a David Lynchesque quality to it. Amazing experience.”


And finally, Best Hong Kong Film was given to Sisyphus Dreaming (Hong Kong) by Jas Pun. The jury found it to be a “very interesting film, funny and surreal.”


Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival would like to say a warm thank you to this year's team of jury members: Sunny Yip, Johnny Lau, Frances James, Mohamed Rizwan, Wing Yee Ng, Max Hattler, Anthony Sung, Hillian Siu, and Ian Lyons.


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 PyykköForgive 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.

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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 SteinUpgrading Happiness (China) by Kwok yee miu won Best Experimental Film. The Best Underground Film award went to Diva & Astro (United States) by Angel BarroetaBest Music Video award went to Pandemia (Hong Kong) by Yiannis Biliris

Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival

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-LecreulxA P E X (United Kingdom) by Stuart T Birchall won Best Experimental FilmBest Music Video award went to The Fool You Need (United States) by Jean-Paul Frenay, a music video for Son Lux.

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Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival history

Our festival has been running since 2015! Check out our Facebook page for recent updates and scroll back to find out about past selections and award winners: www.facebook.com/hongkongarthousefilmfestival/