Hong Kong has remained one of the top destinations for Reel Asian’s programming travel plans. Every March, during the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Filmart, Reel Asian programmers head there to promote Asian Canadian works and establish relationships with distributors and other festival programmers.
Throughout the years, my teammates and I traveled to Hong Kong seeking international partnerships and exchange programs for short films. Finding the right partner is the key for fulfilling this programmatic ambition. In March of 2016, we were proud to to launch our first programming exchange partnership with the Incubator for Film and Visual Media in Asia (ifva). Organized by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and founded in 1995, ifva serves as a platform that actively promotes and encourages creative talents in Asia, making short films, videos, animation and media art. Reel Asian and ifva shares the same vision in nurturing emerging Asian filmmakers and celebrating the multitude of media arts work.
The launch began with a networking event at Filmart, arranged by ifva and co-presented by Reel Asian. It was well attended by over 50 filmmakers. Friends of Reel Asian, including renowned Hong Kong actress Susan Yam Yam Shaw (Two Thumbs Up, Full Strike), director Lau Ho Leung (Two Thumbs Up) and director Tim Yeung (90 days) all came to support the event. I had the pleasure of meeting many international filmmakers, video artists and industry professionals
With the success of the networking event, both Reel Asian and ifva were eager to expand the partnership. We quickly identified that both organizations share the vision to nurture emerging filmmakers and their work. As such, a short film exchange program was the natural fit.
In November 2016, as part of the 20th anniversary festival, Reel Asian presented the Pulse of Hong Kong shorts programme to highlight three award-winning shorts and filmmakers from ifva. Filmmaker Beatrice Wong and ifva director Kattie Fan traveled from Hong Kong and attended the screening at AGO Jackman Hall in downtown Toronto. Audience members were excited to exchange ideas with Beatrice and Kattie, especially after viewing From Beavis (M) to Beatrice (F), Beatrice’s intimate and informative short documentary about her transgender self-actualization. For Beatrice, it was a very special experience as well. She remarks that attending Reel Asian inspired her to feel “immersed in a cauldron of magic potion for creativity. The pitch competition and other multidisciplinary collaborations all broadening and fuelling [her] horizon.”
Now, Reel Asian will be sharing homegrown talents to Hong Kong audiences! We are excited to announce that this March, the 22nd ifva festival will present the Home and Mobility shorts programme, showcasing two award winning Reel Asian shorts, The Suitcase (dir. Philip Leung) and The Home Promised (dir. Betty Xie) alongside with several other Asian short films from around the world. Both selected shorts emerged from Reel Asian’s “So You Think You Can Pitch?” competitions of previous years. This is a testament to Reel Asian’s dedication to continue nurture emerging Asian Canadian filmmakers.
I, along with The Suitcase director Philip Leung and producer Graham Folkema, will be representing Reel Asian to attend ifva in Hong Kong. We look forward to exchanging ideas with audience members in Asia. Keep up with our trip on Reel Asian’s Facebook and Instagram!
Written by Betty Xie
Date: Sunday March 12th, 4pm
Venue: Hong Kong Arts Centre’s Cinema (2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai)
Moderator: Dr. Leung Kai-chi
Speaker: Dr. Chan Yuk-wah
Panel organized by: Ernest Ng
Screening Programme: The Suitcase (Canada), The Drifter (Hong Kong), 2 or 3 things about the bridge (Hong Kong), The Transplants (Singapore), and The Home Promised (Canada/Taiwan). (103’)
After the screening, the five directors would join a discussion panel with the guest speaker to respond to the issue of social and global inequality.