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Festival Highlights 15 & 16

Opening night Black Box Theatre HKU with Samon's Daughter's director Akiko Nakamura 

Screening Sense 99 Lost Flower ( 180 min , South Korea ) 

Brake Mode
Mr. Lieutenant Radio

Turkey / 2015 / 81min / Turkish

Genre:  Horror, Drama, Mystery

Written and Directed by:  Lutfu Emre Cicek

Japan, South Korea / 2015 / 50min / Korean, Japanese

Genre:  Comedy

Written and Directed by:  Paul Young

India / 2015 / 52min / Hindi, Mandarin, English

Genre:  Drama, War

Written and Directed by:  Akash Chopra

Innocent Prayer 無垢の祈り

Japan | 2015 | 83 min | Horror, Crime

Directed by Toru Kamei

A little girl who is tortured by her parents follow the footstep of a serilal killer to run away from her reality.

A no-holds-barred confrontation of controversial issues like domestic violence, child abuse and incest.


USA | 2015 | 86 min | Documentary, family

Directed by Alvin Tsang

New York-based filmmaker Alvin Tsang digs through a box of old videotapes and his family photo album, and recounts his life, a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong to US.

Samon's Daughter

Japan | 2015 | 63 min | Experimental, Theatre

Directed by Akiko Nakamura

Based on the 1825 ghost story written by Nanboku Tsuruya for a Kabuki play, Samon's Daughter attempts to follow the contour of what a samurai's daughter went thru and how she came to be a ghost

The Place Where Dragon Roll 龍滾

China | 2015 | 92 min | Documentary, experimental

Directed by Li Hui

This is an interview documentary as a family record for the household at number 001 in Dragon Roll Village in Wanning County of Hanan Island. It is an atypical anthropological study. It is also a fable that epitomizes the modern and contemporary history of Chinese countryside.


Netherlands, France | 2015 | 73 min | Drama

Directed by Felix van Cleeff

Two young lovers are making a journey through the desert, not specifically going anywhere, in search of freedom. What starts as a time of paradise, slowly dissolves into a story of despair and the impossibility of love, as they drift apart from each other.

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Lost Flower: Eo Woo-dong 어우동

South Korea | 2015 | 101 min | Period drama

Directed by Soo Sung Lee

A triangular relationship between Eo Woo-dong, her husband Lee Dong, and fantasy character Moo-gong, highlights on the first half of the Joseon Dynasty and portrays the contradicted lifeof the high class people, criticizing the modern day Korean society

Tamago たまご

Japan | 2015 | 78 min | Drama, family

Directed by Koji Hirano

Kii Peninsula, Wakayama, Japan. In a small harbor town at the Southernmost end of Honshu Island, a Highschool senior and the only daughter of 'Fukuro Restaurant' Sora Hirami lives alone with her father Taichi

Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites

Australia | 2015 | 73 min | Fantasy, comedy

Directed by Platon Theodoris

Alvin, a pedantic translator, hasn't ventured outside his rundown apartment for a long time, preferring instead the distance and control of the online world

The Sex Temple

Sweden | 2015 | 81 min | Documentary

Directed by Johan Palmgren

Christian runs a swinger club in Norrkoping, Sweden which has just been burnt down. Happily enough he meets Robin, the owner of an old beautiful theatre in town. Christians dream is to one day arrange a swinger party in the whole theatre -and sometimes dreams come true!


Russia | 2015 | 102 min | Drama, crime, fantasy

Directed by Prokopiy Burtsev

Due to a violent misunderstanding a young member of a criminal syndicate is torn away from familiar grounds of urban underworld and thrown into unwelcoming wilderness of Siberian taiga

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An interview with Cosima Littlewood , director of A God for Every Sin.  August 2016


Cosima is in Hong Kong to talk about her new film project which is based on the life of the female Chinese poet Li Qingzhao.


 " You were curious about why I became interested in Li Qingzhao. A few years ago, I studied Chinese Philosophy (concentrating on Confucius, Zhuangzi, Mencius, Xunzi, Zhu Xi) and I began to wonder about the place of women in this philosophy since the texts seemed to be directed towards men and their moral development. I began to read morality texts for women and funerary inscriptions about women from the Han onwards to see what place women held in society.


This in turn led me to discover the great poet Li Qingzhao, a fascinating emblem of her time as she embodied Sung ideals of female virtue and experience through her romantic poetry and yet she also wrote in a time when Neo-Confucians generally disapproved of women writing.


She was simultaneously a rebel and highly regarded because of her talent. I was very moved by her ci poems and decided that this was material I wanted to explore as a filmmaker. However, instead of making a straightforward biopic film on Li Qingzhao, I am developing a story about a contemporary young woman discovering her poetry and its effect on her, as that is a position I can more closely identify with. "


" Gina, you asked me about a current film that impressed me.


I recently watched Ex Machina (2015) and found it mesmerizing in its content and cinematography. Recently, genre films have been somewhat dismissed by critics, but I think when genre films are well done they can be very powerful, such as this science fiction film.


Ex Machina raised some very smart questions about the future of human beings and our growing relationship with artificial intelligence.


Alex Garland, the writer-director, is a master storyteller within the medium of cinema; his timing is sharp, his use of visual language on point. I also have written genre films. Rather than finding them limiting, I actually find them liberating because they give you a structure to follow but also subvert. For rules to be broken, you need to know what they are first."

How can more women make films ?


For women to make more films, the film industry has to change and be willing 'take a chance' on young women directors just as they already do with young men directors in whom they see potential. Until that becomes a reality, more grants need to be geared towards helping women make their first feature films, since that is one of the hardest thresholds to cross.


New York very admirably just started a $5 million fund to assist women filmmakers and theatre makers complete their projects. Women are just as capable, talented, artistic, and intelligent and it is simply a question of opportunity and resources.

Can you tell our Hong Kong audience about your film A God for Every Sin ?


The writing of A God For Every Sin came very easily to me once I had done my research on Korean comfort women. It did not require a big budget and my crew and I were resourceful.


Finding an audience for this film has not been too difficult either, since the subject of comfort women has been in the news especially this year as Japan and Korea have been negotiating.


The most challenging aspect of A God For Every Sin was in its artistic execution: how to convey on screen what I had written on the page from my imagination. It was no easy task. How to create this dark universe I had imagined practically, how to build a set you couldn't see and how to light the scene so that just enough detail could be made out by the viewers to follow the story but still shroud it in mystery?


I worked this out carefully with my cinematographer and crew, building a set from scratch with dark material. I wanted to share my appreciation of the aesthetic of shadows as Jun'ichiro Tanizaki had conveyed to me in the seminal text In Praise of Shadows, one of the first inspirations for my film. I believe we achieved our goals!

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