It takes time for things to grow. One cannot expect fruits to be borne in a day. Similarly for a film festival whose mission is to foster a lasting, deep-rooted culture rather than to be a mere red carpet event.

Internationally renowned Japanese documentary filmmaker Ogawa Shinsuke once described his work as “Using a period of thirteen years to make a harvest of films”. It had never meant to be a harvest solely for himself and his team alone, but also for the people under his camera and the audience, who could as well benefit from the process. The significance of the process and the films lies not in the box office success or the fame that followed; rather, it is because of the enduring intellectual, emotional, spiritual impact brought forth through the process of the filmmaking to those who had participated, and also to the audience back then as well as those in the years to come.

This year, with three highlighted programs: “Indie Focus – Ogawa Shinsuke”, “Chinese Independent Filmmaking Alliance” and “Indie Nations”, Hong Kong Independent Film Festival (HKIndieFF) 2011-12 is having a prolonged schedule from the usual two weeks as in past years to more than three months. With the belief that it takes time for continuing efforts to foster a sustainable culture of critical appreciation and mutual discussion of cinema, we decide to take it slow yet and precisely to take things even more seriously.

Being our first program, “Indie Focus – Ogawa Shinsuke” will showcase altogether seven films alongside two discussion seminars. It had taken many years for Ogawa’s harvest to come, and it was only through years of unceasing, patient observation and interaction with his subjects-in-question could his works finally came to being, and still make the tremendous impact on audience today in Hong Kong.

May we all start our own time of harvesting with the heritages of Ogawa Shinsuke.