With the 11th 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. During a trip to the Philippines, middle-aged, Norwegian Lars has met Abigail - the Filipina he wants to share his life with. But does she share his plans?
FORGIVE AND NOT TO FORGIVE (Hong Kong) by Elysa Wendi was awarded as BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM. Shared dialogues between Chang Yan and Chen Jun about their childhood trauma, contemplating the hatred they feel towards their fathers. Body movements and memories in the intimacy of an unknown space. One chooses to forgive, another one chooses not to.
The prize for the BEST ANIMATED FILM went to IN PASSING (Canada) by Esther Cheung. This short film is a portrait of seventies Hong Kong as the director's parents remember it.
FIELD OF INFINITY (United Kingdom) by Guli Silberstein won BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM. Inspired by Renaissance paintings and contemporary news broadcasts from Gaza protests - the work processes human gestures and figures in landscape into a dark and colourful scramble. An array of reflections, including concerns about the political image, image of the political, the politics of the image, and the image of image.
BEST UNDERGROUND FILM was awarded to FRAGILE MACHINES (United States) by Derek Johnson, Luke Smithers. Fragile Machines is an independent art film which tells the story of a married couple and the affairs that make their relationship irreparable.
Last but not least, the BEST HONG KONG FILM award went to SURVIVAL HK by Louise Pau. An english listening test takes place inside a small classroom while a typhoon brews outside. The students struggle to focus between the test recording and what happens beyond the test.
The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival is all about 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.
See you all next year.