Hong Kong Independent Film Festival started in 2008 with a particular focus on the independent productions in Asia. Every year, it selects notable films to highlight the topic of the year, promotes the independent film from di erent places, and enri- ches film options in Hong Kong. Except regular ticketing at the cinema, there are set-your-own-price screenings in other screening venues o ering another form of viewing experience. As the independent film festival values the dialogue between the public and producers, a post-screening seminar often follows to further inspire the audience.
Following are the past programmes:
'INDIE FOCUS': A significant programme of the year by holding a retrospective section for a representative of independent film or theme. Six to eight related works are selected, and some filmmakers will be invited to share their production experience with local audience. We hope to inspire our young filmmakers by introducing these representatives through classic indie films, seminars and workshops, while the general public and students can further deliberate and study films by learning the aesthetics, creative style and the indie spirit of the classics. Since 2008, the selections of filmmakers and themes in HKindieFF have impressed the audience, including the Japanese independent film director Nobuhiro Yamashita, father of American independent film John Cassavetes, Japanese documentary film director Shinsuke Ogawa, Burma born Taiwanese director Midi. Z and the feminist film representative Chantal Akerman. The Shinsuke Ogawa retrospective in 2011 is the most successful and eye-catching retrospective section, which influenced not only Hong Kong but also neighbouring countries. We believe 'Indie Focus' is the programme with the highest reputation and expectations of the annual HKindieFF. Thus, we hope to continue this special programme to strengthen HKindieFF's educational significance and attract more attention of audience.
'LOCAL INDIE VISION': 'It is a must-have programme in our film festival, so that we can attain one of our goals, collecting and promoting local indie production at the same time.
‘INDIE REAL’: Four to five overseas documentaries are selected, and we invite some directors to Hong Kong to have a post-screening discussion with audience. Documentary section is an important part in many film festivals, as there are many independent documentary works throughout the year, which is full of local and cultural colour. Yet there is only a tiny room for them to develop in Hong Kong commercial market, thus we collect documentaries of di erent themes and share with our audience focusly. In the previous HKindieFF, some works such as 1428, directed by Du Haibin,
Hand in hand, directed by Zhuang Yizeng and Yan Lanquan and Fight for Justice, directed by Su Che-hsien, have a great reception after their screenings in HKindieFF.
'INDIE VISION' or special theme section: Selecting and organising by di erent themes, so as to reveal the connections between films, increase the popularity of the film festival and to catch attention of the media. It would also be easier for audience to understand the art value of films, and increase their interests in other films of the film festival. Last year, we collected films which were related to the theme 'Imagining Home', hoped to make a reflection of our living environment. One of our programmes last year called ‘INDIE FRONTLINE: Toward a Poetics of Taiwan Documentary’, an expressive present which attracted many audience who are interested in literature. In the coming years, we will curate INDIE VISION with di erent themes direction.
'INDIE SHORT': Due to the lack of funds in independent production, short film is easier to be carried out, so many directors choose to work on short film project. Short films from di erent countries are selected, so as to provide opportunities for filmmakers to exchange with audience, as well as explore our audience's vision and art appreciation experiences at the same time. Additionally to exchanges between Hong Kong and Macua, 'Hong Kong & Macau shorts selections' in last year programme has also reached our target.
'Set Your Own Price' Series and 'Food and Farming Film Festival' In addition to sell tickets at the theatre, HKindieFF also screens in other venues on a Set-Your-Own-Price basis. We continuously work in partnership with Sangwoodgoon, coordinating in holding a series of screenings related to the issues of agriculture. We share di erent viewing experiences with our audience by holding screening in di erent space, like bookstore and farm. We hope to get closer to the community and we will continue to explore di erent venues to meet di erent types of audiences.
As an organisation sponsored by Hong Kong Arts Development Council, we hope to record the story of our community with the help of our filmmaking and film distributing experiences.
Started from 2013, this scheme aims at facilitating general public to shoot independent film and tell stories of their communi- ty. On the other hand, filmmakers go into general public, so as to enhance their understanding of film art and make film art accessible to our community.
One of the special parts of the whole project is that filmmaking is no longer led by professional filmmakers. Rather, we organi- se a series of workshops, taught by experienced filmmakers. During the workshops, we collect stories from our participants with various backgrounds, then we develop a script from that. Filmmaking starts after the script is finished. This project would
not be ended after a ritual, a ceremony or a press released, on the contrary, it is a sustainable project which contains high value.
There are 3 Phases of the whole Project:
Phase 1: Recruitment
Phase 2: Workshops
Workshops include script-writing, audition, filmmaking and post- production.During the workshops, participants and neighbours from the communities would share stories of their communities, which helps tutors and participants to write a script from that. After finishing the script, tutors would assist participants to film the story and work on post-production.
Phase 3: Community screening
After finishing the three short films, we would screen these three works in di erent community organisations. In addition to this, we would also publish DVD and distribute them to schools, organisations and libraries for appreciation or for institutional use, so as to sustain the project in di erent ways.
Under the operation of independent film industry, productions have always been trapped and controlled by commercial hegemony, tended to cater the demand of investors and value of market. It resulted a large number of commercial-oriented and entertaining-oriented films. Accordingly, the film industry was lacking of critical reflection on social issues and phenomenon, led to selection shortage on film.
However, we believe that functions of film could not only be narrowed into entertaining and consumption. In recent years, several kinds of social issues popped up but they were rarely to be seen as content of mainstream films. But, we hope films would be independent in the mass production trend nowadays. It could provide different objectives and reflections on social issues which are worth to be faced and discussed; produce meaningful and abundant choice for audiences and enriche the development of indie film production.