Preparing for the Hong Kong International Film Festival

It’s the day before the nine-hour flight to Hong Kong for its annual international film festival and I am greatly anticipating the experience ahead. In preparation for the trip, aside from packing the essentials and many read-throughs of the travel itinerary, I have been attending meetings with the study group, of which I am one of 19 students. In these meetings I have learnt about the history of the Hong Kong, it’s screen culture and the lifestyle of its population.

As a group we have also had some screenings throughout the summer break of a selection of Hong Kong films originating from its “golden age” (the 1990’s). A personal favourite of the screening was A Bullet in the Head (1990) an ultra-violent thriller set in the 1960’s with reference in part to the 1989 incident in the Tiananmen Square. I also loved the classic Wong Kar-Wai film, In the Mood for Love (2000), which I watched on my own.

Aside from the watching some films in preparation, we also had to select the films we are seeing at the film festival. We were given a default list of 20 screenings spread over 12 days which we were allowed to alter as pleased. While I did note a few recommendations, I found the current selection adequate for what I wanted to see. I only swapped one film and added an extra one from the default selection. I’d been told by students who were going to Hong Kong a second time that it isn’t uncommon to swap tickets with others or purchase more once we’ve arrived, so I’m expecting the selection I see aren’t set in stone just yet.

I’m really curious to attend the screenings in Hong Kong, and to see the screen reflect the its tensions, society and attractions of my surroundings.

Milly Farmer, Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing student has participated in East Asian Film Industry Engagement Program in March 2019. The program is funded by the New Colombo Plan by the Australian Government

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