Hong Kong, 22 June 2022 - The 13th 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 official selection included 21 wonderful short films hailing from the U.S, Norway, Italy, Georgia, the U.K., Argentina, Canada, Iran, France, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, following a message from the censorship body of Hong Kong, we sadly were unable to screen two films to the public on the night of the festival. However, this year's jury members were able to view and rate all films, including the censored ones. We are very happy to share with you today the 2022 Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival award winners:
Best Narrative Film: Prestige (Iran) by Zahra Ahooei. “Mahsa is an Iranian woman TV presenter. She sings and posts her videos on Instagram anonymously. As a result of this, Mahsa faces a challenge during one of her shows. She now needs to decide between leaving the country and losing her job…”
Best Documentary Film: Scars (Canada) by Alex Anna. “Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.”
Best Animated Film: The awakening of the insects (France) by Stephanie Lansaque, Francois Leroy. This censored film takes place in Hong Kong. “Mr Lam is an old gentleman who loses his memory since the death of his wife. On March 5, the day of “the awakening of the hibernating insects”, he receives the unexpected visit of old Ms. Meng. This Taoist exorcist is determined to chase the demons lodging in the head of the old man.”
Best Experimental Film: Fall Into My Palms (USA) by Bo Nawacharee. “A brimming time, an empty space, and two people falling in between.”
Best Underground Film: See the Sea with me (Hong Kong) by June Siu Ling Wong. In this second film not approved by the censorship body, “there is a mountain near a prison in Hong Kong. Many press photographers had to climb and abseil to reach the mountain because it was the only place to capture the images of the pro-democracy activists who were charged under the national security law over their organisation and participation in a primary election in 2020. Activists tried very hard to show messages towards the cameras before they got on the vehicle as they know Hongkongers need to see the hope.”
Best Sci-Fi Film: Anima Possession (Hong Kong) by Wai Mo Chan. “A pair of lovers with one being a cyborg go to a shady robotic body shop hoping to have their relationship mended by the mechanic. At his advice, the human owner Jackie agrees to an irreversible upgrade for Tammy, her cyborg Soulmate™️. However, the result isn't as expected. There Tammy meets Anima, a fellow cyborg who taught Tammy that happiness is illusive, and love is nothing but a cruel tango between the intangible sense of love and the harsh reality of physical lust.”
Best Super Short Film: Blue Lights (USA) by Yuan Lingxi, Bea Vischer. An experimental film.
Best Hong Kong Film: The Last Ferry From Grass Island (Hong Kong) by Linhan Zhang. “A Hong Kong hitman retires as a fisherman on the peaceful Grass Island. One day, his Chinese apprentice shows up, tasked to kill him before the last ferry departs.”
Congratulations! We wish all awarded and officially selected films an exciting future and a great festival run. Last year's winner of our Best Narrative Short Film Award, Maria Brendle's 'Ala Kachuu – Take and Run', made it all the way to the Oscar's with a nomination for Best Live Action Short Film.
A new Call for Entries has been launched today on FilmFreeway, submit your film now for a chance to be selected for the 2023 edition: https://filmfreeway.com/HongKongArthouseFilmFestival
About HKAFF: 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.