Reflecting on the 2019 Hong Kong Film Festival

Upon returning from Hong Kong, I can now reflect the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival. From the moment I got my first glimpse of the country, I was blown away. The bustling, crowded neon streets host polished and glitzy boutiques juxtaposed with the ramshackle marketplaces.

The first few days were spent acclimatizing to the efficient MTR and making the most of full days in Hong Kong. Beginning with a ferry trip to Lantau Island, a group of us rode around on bikes all day, climbing through rocky caves. Another day was spent at Ocean Park, a theme park which has a variety of sea creatures and roller coasters with some epic views.

Once the films started, it was a matter of knowing what stops to get off of, and finding the cinemas. Between screenings as a group we also attended the Filmart Convention. There we saw the biggest Asian film production companies showcased and watched panels about Cantopop and young Hong Kong filmmakers. We also attended insightful talks and Q and A sessions with programmers and academics which discussed the history of Hong Kong cinema, how to curate a film festival program and provided analysis for the films we’d seen.

The films are no doubt the stand out memory of the trip, my selection from the festival provided variety and no films were alike. One highlight of the festival was Still Human, a heartwarming film about a Filipino woman caring for a disabled Hong Konger which made me shed a few tears. Another poignant moment for me was the film, Blue Hour, a Japanese film following a woman and her best friends revisiting her childhood home and reflecting.

I highly encourage those with a passion for writing about film, film production or festival programming to express your interest in the future trips!

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 Mobility Program by the Australian Government. Read Milly’s 1st post here. 

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