Nose Chan
Festival Curator of HKIndieFF2013, Board Member of Ying E Chi

The year 2012 has seen a number of film masters’ departures: Theo Angelopoulos, Chris Marker, Kaneto Shindo and Koji Wakamatsu. In their wakes, many film festivals around the world held retrospectives to pay tribute. This is perfectly fine, but as a curator, my mind always circles around this issue. To curate a retrospective programme in Hong Kong Indie Film Festival, regardless whether the director survives, should find its footing in the filmmaker's significance and readability of his/ her series of works as well as the zeitgeist in their works in contrast with their contemporary counterparts or the society.

This year’s Indie Focus, Agnès Varda is the only female figure in French New Wave and is regarded as ‘the Grandmother of New Wave’.  For the past fifty years, Varda incessantly labored new creations.  After several waves and breaks, the four works of hers that are to be screened in this festival are etched with her signature: the departure from the old film, and at the same time bore Varda’s feminine touch with a concern on humanity. The New Wave film movement in the 1960s swept the world. In 1962, 26 German film directors proclaimed in the 8th West German Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, “The old film is dead, we believe in the new one”.  The Oberhausen Manifesto not only pronounced that new films spoke a new language, but also insisted on the freedom from the established convention in the industry, freedom from financial partners’ influence and that from the control of interest groups. The German New Wave was cultured as a result. 2012 is the 50th anniversary of Oberhausen Manifesto.  Let us revisit the short films produced between 1958 and 1965 so to share the insight of the manifesto signatories.  While we recap the past, we do not overlook the present.  Our focus remains on the Chinese independent film circle. Selected by Chinese Independent Filmmaking Alliance, we will screen a number of works that deal with social issues of Hong Kong and on both straits.  Furthermore from our last year’s initiative The Chinese Independent Filmmaking Fundraising Project, six short films from Hong Kong and the mainland would be premiered in the festival.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the festival’s staff and partners, my special thanks to Ms. Anne-Sophie Lehec of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Dr. Gabriele Gauler, director of Goethe-Institut Hong Kong, Ms Luka Wong of Goethe-Institut, Mr. Liang Ying of Chongqing Independent Film & Video Festival, Mr. Yu Chang Lai of South Taiwan Film Festival.  Without your enthusiastic support, audiences in Hong Kong would not have this precious viewing experience.

The audience base of independent movies turnover in every three to five years. We aim to nurture audience via film festival; it also promotes interaction between filmmakers and audience allowing films to achieve its biggest effect. There is a season for everything.  There is a time for mourning the masters, a time for losing film copies, only through screening and viewing would the audience base flourish.  As Alain Resnais said, 'new wave cinema is less a new wave of directors... and more a new wave of spectators.'