The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (HKLGFF) is an annual affair that began 33 years ago. Now, this year, 28 feature films and four short programs have made their way from all across the world to shine triumphantly on the screens of our local cinemas from September 17 to October 1.
Their Short Screenplay Competition started last year with at least 20 entries, among whom Christy Tse and Jason Lam were chosen as winners and given the opportunity to meet five industry experts and develop their films. Yeung says that both winners were polished," and mentors felt their scripts just needed a little rewriting, and they were good to go." It served not only as a validation of their abilities but an encouragement to soldier on in creating movies despite how difficult and time consuming" the process is.
About the festival:The Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is the longest running LGBT film festival in Asia. We are a registered non-profit society seeking to promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination against sexual minority groups in Hong Kong through cinematic works of art. We program films with a wide range of LGBT topics from Hong Kong and across the world.
Both the HKAC and Edward Lam had rich experiences of organising themed film screening events. However, the actual operation of the HKLGFF during the HKAC period was not smooth. Here are the three characteristics. Firstly, the HKLGFF was not constantly and annually organised. Two years after the first HKLGFF, the festival began to be held annually, but there were also discontinuations in 1996 and 1999, and in 1997, the festival was held twice. Thus, the intermittent operation indicates the difficulty and disorder of the HKLGFF organisation at the time. Secondly, the scale of the HKLGFF varied in every year in terms of the length of festival and the number of films selected. The first HKLGFF stretched across three months, but the fifth HKLGFF in 1995 lasted for 18 days. In addition, the HKLGFF held in 1992 selected only 22 films; while, the fourth HKLGFF, held in 1994, screened more than 100 films. Thirdly, the name of the festival changed repeatedly during the Lam period. First, it was called The Gay and Lesbian Films Season, then became The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1992, but changed to the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival the next year. It was renamed again in 1998 as the Hong Kong Queer Film/Video Festival. The name change reflected the identity politics of programming and the theme of that year. Generally speaking, the HKLGFF was in effect held as an individual new event each time in the HKAC period.
The HKLGFF has started to enter into university campuses since 2015. Aiming at achieving the social values, the HKLGFF has organised a campus tour during the festival period. Cooperating with the Red Ribbon Centre and different student groups, the HKLGFF presents short films of diverse topics related to queer life and culture. As a free event to college students, this campus tour carries out the educational function without distinct commercial considerations, which is also the way how the HKLGFF actively gets touch with younger generation. Nevertheless, from the perspective of business, getting touch with college students is able to cultivate the festival audiences of the next generation, and to have good publicity for the festival in the campus as well.
Its 900-seat air-conditioned auditorium with stalls and dress circle had a stage and a wide screen suitable for showing Cinemascope films. Besides showing films and stage performances, regional functions were always held at the theatre.
Its 29th edition takes you across the best of recent international lesbian, gay, bi, transgenre and queer-related films from 8th to 22nd September . The festival also offers a peak into some of the latest and best contemporary French related films such as its opening film directed by Christophe Honoré.
Its 29th edition takes you across the best of recent international lesbian, gay, bi, transgenre and queer-related films. The festival also offers a peak into some of the latest and best contemporary French related films such as its opening film directed by Christophe Honoré.
Of the East Asian film genres that have captured the attention of film goers internationally, it should be of little surprise that martial and heroically masculine genres have been the most popular, for violent action translates well into any language. Although it has been no secret that male martiality often leaks into homoerotic desire (on the part of the audience, too), three Hong Kong films from 1998 have finally explicated the generic homosexuality that the action genre has been (defensively) ashamed to admit all along. However, rather than posit this textual homosexuality as transgressive, the generic forces under which these films operate rewrite their homosexualities, both gay and lesbian, into generic modes fashioned around regressive oppositions of gender, and not progressive liberations of sexuality.
This section concerns the lesbian and transgender films in HKLGFF. It points out the criticism regarding the gay-oriented programming style of HKLGFF. The section discusses the significance of genre in increasing lesbian and transgender representations in Hong Kong market. Liu recommends three non-gay feature-length films, Close-Knit (Naoko Ogigami, 2017), Until Rainbow Dawn (Mika Imai, 2018) and Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle, 2018). These films were selected by HKLGFF respectively in 2017 and 2018.
Worldwide, these festivals offer an array of short films, feature films, narratives, documentaries, and everything in between. Many of these stories will never have an audience beyond the film festival circuit. And each of these stories reveals unique experiences that make up the fabric of our worldwide community. Stories that need to be seen. And voices from around the globe that should be heard.
Almost as impacting as the films themselves is the collective experience these festivals engender: theatres filled with hundreds of like-minded Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender individuals. And many straight allies as well. Opening and Closing night parties. Meet and greet mixers with filmmakers from around the globe. Panel discussions. Q & A's.
I'm so honored that BearCity 2; The Proposal is included amongst the stories that comprise this year's festival films. We had our world premier as part of Los Angeles's LGBT film festival -- OutFest -- where the first film won the Best Screenplay Award and won Stephen Gaurino the Best Actor Award. So similar to Oslo, and a handful of experiences I've mentioned in previous columns, our Outfest Premier seemed like kismet was at play once again.
OutFest is one of the world's most celebrated LGBT film festivals. This year they joined with the NYC sister festival NewFest to become the nation's leading programmer of LGBT films. And it's an honor that my first feature film as co-executive producer received its world premier as part of their landmark 30th year anniversay.
Yeung has written and directed three feature films so far, and they all revolve around queer characters. As a patron for LGBTQ causes, he also revived the previously defunct HKLGFF festival back in 2000, with the purpose of promoting equal opportunities through cinematic works of art.
Out on Film will once again offer a rich selection of LGBTQIA+ films curated from around the world. 39 features (24 narrative films, 15 documentaries), 15 shorts programs with 82 films and a webseries representing 20 countries will be screened this year.
 To Liv(e), Crossings and four other films by Evans Chan can be found in a DVD set accompanying the printed edition of Postcolonialism, Diaspora, and Alternative Histories: The Cinema of Evans Chan edited by Tony Williams and published by HKU Press in 2015.
Importantly, this year Hong Kong will assert itself as the center of the Asian LGBTI film festival circuit. Therefore, the festival will be screening more LGBTI films from Asia than any other festival in the region.
A film and music superstar in his homeland of Hong Kong and throughout Asia, Leslie Cheung broke barriers as an out gay man, finding international success acting in such films as Farewell My Concubine and Happy Together. Acclaim, awards, and fans followed, which made it all the more shocking when, on April 1, 2003, Cheung lept from the 24th floor of a hotel room to his death. Nigel Collett's extraordinarily detailed new biography provides a glimpse into Cheung's path to stardom, his relationships and struggles, and the pitfalls of fame. The author of Firelight of a Different Colour: The Life and Times of Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing, Collett kindly shared more with me about the man ranked as the favorite actor in the 100 years of Chinese cinema and whom CNN called the "Most Beautiful Man from Hong Kong Cinema."
Collett: Leslie overcame a complete absence of education or training to establish himself first as a TV star, then as a film star and singer, by dint of his own talent and irrepressible self-confidence. He was in the forefront of all the major entertainment waves that turned Hong Kong into an independent cultural entity in the '80s and '90s and for many he came to encapsulate the city itself. His appeal was far wider, though, for his films and music reached out to Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the great Chinese diaspora across the world. He is probably the biggest Hong Kong star worldwide ever.
Collett: Leslie's acceptance of an openly gay, and in fact a very sluttish, role in Happy Together was, I think, timed deliberately. He was in the process of drawing back the veil about himself. Hong Kong was gradually changing, opening up a little. It was time, he thought, to push the envelope. Wong Kar Wai's art house films were as safe a way to do this as any. He was expected to be outrageous, off beat. In the event, the film had no adverse effect on Leslie or his career at all, rather it helped establish his position as an actor internationally. 2b1af7f3a8