Another precarious period stands to witness how The Independent Film Festival is coming to life. Battles at the Northeast, the 622 Referendum, things are really getting into full swing around here. It is impossible to suggest how things will turn out when the festival is fully operating. The second part of this year’s film festival will be smaller in scale, leaving room for filmmakers, curators and audience to join forces and reflect on the magnitude of our situation, and maybe even take action.
The first session is jointly organized by Chinese Independent Documentary Lab, showcasing three documentaries that will never get the opportunity to be released in Mainland China. These pieces all look into the history of 1959-1989, a special period of time which also marks my political awakening: reading about the Cultural Revolution while I was studying university overseas and going through 4thJune, 1989 in Hong Kong.
Macau is also undergoing drastic transformation as Hong Hong does: the city’s rapid development (thanks to its blossoming gambling industry) has allowed the government to put in more resources to promote local culture and creativity, getting more involved in releasing local films and increasing numbers of critical and independent works are being made. In the Chinese independent movie scene, Macau is gradually earning its place among them.
In Hong Kong, apart from the new wave of filmmakers, there are also film producers who have worked with Ying E Chi who explore different aspects of society through motion pictures. Apparently “security guards” are a heated topic these days, it is no wonder that the Legislative Council are hiring guards at high rates now.
Radio Television Hong Kong has played an integral part in balancing local television culture, and in presenting this series we hope to give young filmmakers a chance to voice their independent opinions, and discuss individual works with executive producers of RTHK.
The first Chinese Independent Filmmaking Fundraising Project (CIFFP) has been quite successful, and the works displayed were also acknowledged in other film festivals, but progress of the second CIFFP was elongated for various reasons, and while there was still a shortage of funds, some of the directors had already begun filming. During the film festival, we will also organize trial screenings so as to allow for better interactions of all co-producers with the production process.
The festival is just one of many projects of Ying E Chi, there will be DVD releases in the future, screenings in theaters and Foo Tak Building, the Grassroots Filmmaking Project will also be reintroduced. In this critical moment, I don’t know the true purpose of filmmaking and screening; I know only to keep doing what we do. To quote Wong Fei Pang, an independent filmmaker who joined this festival, “film is life, and independence is an attitude.”